Originally Written 2008
(I wrote this in response to questions and concerns being raised by new Christians in an online forum where I was a member at the time.)
I've been thinking and praying a lot about how to approach this topic. It can be touchy, because it is so easy to get confused. Our enemy, of course, is the devil. Jesus Christ spoke of that one with the following words: "He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44
If we are having -- lol-- when we are having troubles and trials, there is likely to be a lie in there somewhere. The first challenge is in discovering what the lie is. "...You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32.
The second and probably most difficult challenge is to stand firm. I was just praying through my pen (writing in my prayer journal), and it came out that nowhere in Scripture does it say that we have either horses or chariots. So we don't run after or away from the enemy. What we do have is a stronghold. "He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in Whom I take refuge..." Psalm 144:2
We Americans like to do something about a problem. Just standing doesn't really come naturally. The trouble is that we don't well understand spiritual things. Jesus Christ is very much real, very much alive, and He has His own thoughts and priorities. Anyone who has walked with Him should recognize that statement. So it is really important to first seek Him in The Word and in prayer, and second, wait for a sure answer before you try to "fix" it. And, yes, this can be hard.
OK, I'm going to use the latest Bigfoot story for an example, because its still unfolding in the news, and its easily followed. I'm old enough to remember when the Bigfoot story first started hitting the news in the 1970's. In fact, I was traveling in northern California, where the story was born, and about 1979, and I asked a truck driver about it. I asked him, because truck drivers drive through lonely places at night all the time, so I reasoned that if there was anything like ghosts or Bigfoots roaming about in the dark, an experienced truck driver was likely to have seen one somewhere sooner or later. His argument was that no one had ever found a dead one, so ever since then I have not believed in Bigfoot.
Fast forward 39 years, and we have 2 men in northern Georgia claiming to have a dead Bigfoot in the freezer! Its certainly a long walk from northern California to northern Georgia, so it just might be safe to assume that poor old Bigfoot was so tired from all that walking that he just lay down and died when he got to Georgia. Enter DNA testing, and the whole thing starts to unravel. The proud owners of the "dead Bigfoot" submitted three samples for DNA testing. (Curious that people who believe in Bigfoot don't seem to believe in science). The first sample tested as dead opossum, the second sample tested as human and the third was too messed up to test at all. Hmmmmm, so could Bigfoot be part opossum, part human and part very old roadkill???? There's a good southern recipe for a very tall tale indeed. This is a mundane or natural example of how deception works.
Some things I have learned so far:
If you can't do better, hang on tight to what you've got. For example, I quit swearing and quit driving like a Nascar superstar, but I still haven't been able to quit smoking cigarettes. There have been many times that I knew I didn't have some things right, but I did what I could, and Jesus has been wonderfully patient with me.
Pray for Jesus insight. If you know someone who has or seems to have a special prayer anointing, ask them to pray for you to understand what is really going on. Test everything! Make sure you know, really know what is true and what is not and why.