Grace and peace be unto you.
The journey continues…
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Recently, I read the sad story about a woman who was led astray by a false prophet. Reportedly, she committed fraud among other crimes under the misguided belief that her actions were pleasing to God. Regrettably, there are many similar stories worldwide. Thousands of years ago, the apostle Paul wrote that some believers would leave the faith and follow doctrines of devils, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
It is normal for us to desire more of Christ. And so, we want more of his power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Some of us want to have visions, see angels, and experience everything that is possible. Therefore, if our desires are not met within our timeframe, we might be tempted to have it fulfilled outside of Christ. For example, if we do not have visions or see angels and a professed disciple preaches a doctrine that reportedly helps us to achieve these, we may believe his doctrine and start following him.
The Bible says that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Then, how do we identify false prophets and teachers, considering that some of them say that they believe in Jesus Christ? We know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). They disobey God’s commands and encourage others to do the same. The greatest commandment is not evident in their lifestyle, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). False prophets and teachers talk a lot about their frequent communication with God and visions that they receive. Furthermore, they are overly concerned with heavenly mysteries and angels.
God wants us to be satisfied with our spiritual blessings and revelations. When he wants to increase them, he will do so. Many of us will die without ever having visions or seeing angels because it is not his will. The truth is that some of us will become conceited and dishonor God if he reveals heavenly secrets to us, therefore he withholds them. We must trust him because he knows best (Proverbs 3:5-6). When he withholds something from you, you do not need it to fulfil your purpose. Hence, give thanks and serve him wholeheartedly.
The story is told that Cornelius was a Gentile who feared God. He prayed regularly and was generous to those in need. However, he was not familiar with Jesus Christ. And so, one day, he had a vision in which God told him to send for Simon Peter. He obeyed and Peter shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, his family, and close friends (Acts 10:1-48). When we serve the Lord to the best of our ability, he reveals everything that he wants us to know. The psalmist says, “…he leads us in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).