Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.  For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
Romans 16:17-20 NASB…
Many Christians go through their daily routine never suspecting that the enemy is laying snares for them. This scripture tells us that the “unsuspecting” are subject to being deceived by Satan’s ministers who can come as angels of light. The Lord Jesus taught us, in the model prayer, to ask God to DAILY “deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13)
Peter warned us to “gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you” when the Lord returns for His Bride (I Peter 1:13).
Following are some characteristics of an “unsuspecting” Christian:
- They are easy targets for flattery and seductive speech due to walking in pride. (As biblical Christians we are to “set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-10)
- They believe anyone who uses the name of Jesus or Christ and can speak the Christian language is a true believer. (The Lord Jesus said concerning the last days that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24)
- They believe every supernatural appearance, event, spirit or voice is from God. (The Holy Spirit warned us through the apostle John to “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world”. (I John 4:1-3)
- They dabble in or have an unhealthy interest in occult practices, i.e. sorcery, witchcraft, divination, omens, astrology, mediums, spiritist, necromancy, etc. (Paul warned us that “those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
- Participate in yoga (even Christian yoga), eastern meditation, “spiritual formation” or other New Age practices that “bind” or “empty” the mind to reach an altered state of consciousness where you open yourself up to the demonic dimension and the lie that you are Divine. Practices rooted in eastern mysticism or eastern religions (Buddhist, Hindu, etc.). (The Lord Jesus teaches that man is not Divine but “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:1-16)
- They read books by religious mystics, which could be written by pagan authors or Protestant or Roman Catholic mystics. (The Holy Spirit through the writing of the apostle Paul warns us that in the end times “…God will send upon them [i.e. those who did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved] a deluding influence so that they believe what is false…”. (2 Thessalonians 2:11) Eastern mysticism, dressed up in Christian garb, is invading the Church and contains the “lie” that man is Divine and offers the false promise of peace and unity. The writings of these mystics can open the door to these dangerous practices.
- They do not give the Bible priority in their life. (Lord Jesus said “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” (Matthew 4:4)
If this is you, please consider the spiritual war that is swirling around you unseen, but nevertheless very real, and with eternal consequences. Paul warned us to “not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27) Why? Because he will take it. Many of the characteristics listed give the devil an opportunity to destroy you, your spouse, your children, your church, your witness, etc. Therefore, I encourage you to:
8] “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and…be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5: 15-18
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness…” 2 Corinthians 11:14
“…beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen”. (Jude 24 -25)
Father God, please protect us from the evil one today so we do not stumble. Use us Father to do your will on the earth and to be a blessing to others. In Jesus Name. Amen