Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
You will never be deceived by any man unless you trust him. And you will never trust anyone who is obviously wicked. The picture that many Christians hold of Satan, as a hideous creature with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork, is a curiosity because that picture contradicts every bit of biblical information that exists. Satan would never have deceived one third of God’s angels in heaven if he had looked or acted the way most people envision him as looking and acting. The prophet Ezekiel described Satan as being “perfect in beauty” and “full of wisdom”.
The wisdom of God teaches us to beware of anything that attracts us, and to make sure that the attraction is in the Spirit, not in the flesh, but there are just a few who are able to deny themselves and do that. Can you make yourself pause in pursuing a course to ask, and to honestly answer for yourself the question, “Why am I attracted to this?” We all would benefit from doing that.
I tell the saints to whom I am close that they absolutely must know why they are doing what they are doing. They must know why they believe what they believe, and why they do and say whatever it is they are doing and saying. We must not be the kind of people who go through life making choices and yet, not knowing why we made them. Our choices will determine where we spend eternity! If you do not find out from God why you are where you are, and why you do what you are doing, some spirit in this world is going to give you his own answer and lead you away from your rightful place.
The basic issue is this: Did some lust of the flesh deceive you and draw you to the place you are in right now, or was it the Spirit of Christ that drew you to where you are? Were you lured by an attractive speaker or by music pleasing to the flesh to believe and support the doctrine you are supporting, or has Jesus really taught you that truth, and you are following him? Why are you where you are? You need to know because someone, or some spirit, will certainly demand an answer from you . . . or else. Peter warned us to “be ready to give an answer to every man that asks a reason for the hope that is in you.” Are you ready? Do you have your answer ready?
Do you really know what brought you to the place in Christ where you are? Or have you ever even asked yourself such questions? Paul loved the Gentiles he converted to Christ, and so, he encouraged them to examine themselves, to find out why they were thinking what they now thought and why they worshiped God as they now worshiped Him. He knew that they needed to have those answers written on their hearts, and that they would never be established in Christ unless they were.
There is safety in searching out the answers to these kinds of questions – provided, of course, that when we ask them, we are honest with ourselves when it comes to acknowledging the answer.