And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Matt 24:4
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matt 24:24
The first thing three things we must do to arm ourselves against deception are the following. If you missed them, you can click on them and read them at your leisure.
Know His Word.
Connect with Like-Minded Christians
Now, for the fifth and last thing you need to do to avoid being deceived. Prayer and Fasting. I don't know about you but for many years my prayer life was pretty pathetic. I squeezed God into my busy day with 10 minutes here or 10 minutes there (Sometimes only in the car ride to work) and when I did, I brought to Him a laundry list of my requests. I need help here, can you please help me there, save my kids, heal that person, get rid of that nasty person bothering me, give me a raise, make my husband nicer. LOL Of course I gave the obligatory thanks and praise and repenting of sins, but my prayers ended up rote and predictable and honestly, they bored even me!
Yet prayer is such a privilege! Because of Jesus, we have full access to the throne of God. People in the Old Testament did not have this. God could only speak to them through prophets, angels, dreams or special visitations. Did God hear their prayers? I'm sure He did, but there was a wall between them and Him until Jesus obliterated it. Prayer should be a CONVERSATION, Not a one way chat in which we tell God what we need. Actually, He already knows.
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Matt 6:7-8
If you are bored with your prayers, you can bet God is too. Not that He doesn't love you enormously, but come on, He is person too with feelings and a personality. He's also a Father who longs for a conversation with His child, not just a one way chat wherein we repeat the same request over and over again. Wouldn't that drive you crazy? Ask Him for what you need. Of course. Thank Him for His answer. Then believe and let it go. I'm not saying you can't bring it up again, but make it quick next time. God doesn't forget. It is better to spend the time hearing from God, enjoying His presence, talking about something in Scripture, than to repeat a list of requests. I guarantee that if you do this,
- Your prayer life will explode
- You will look forward to praying
- You will pray more often
- You will hear from God more often.
- You will get to know God
Don't just restrict your prayers to a certain time. Yes, we need to set aside some quiet time, but we can also pray all day long. Keep the conversation running with God during the entire day, while you're working or playing or whatever you're doing, you can always talk to Him. If you do this, if you are in constant communication with God, how can you ever fall for deception?
Fasting is not a subject most Christians want to discuss. In fact, it is a lost art in our self-indulgent Western Church. We love our food here in America, don't we? But fasting was a huge part of the Jewish religion and a huge part of the early church. Jesus said in Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do..." Notice the word WHEN.
Here's what fasting will do for you:
- Give you spiritual power
- Give you wisdom
- Bring you closer to God
- Give you discernment of spirits
- Give you insight
- Coupled with mourning and repentance, cause God's mercy and grace to flow
In these last days, we are going to need the discernment and power that comes with prayer and fasting more than ever. We need to quit playing church and get serious. The time to wake up is now. I pray these posts have helped you in your quest to protect yourself from the coming deception. May God have mercy on us all.