I'm not sure what year I wrote this. Probably 2009.
The only way you find out what is real is when you stand against what is not, and that will always cost you.
In a recent forum conversation, I stated that the only way to be able to recognize a genuine Christian is to be one. Does that statement sound confrontational? Or does it sound mistaken because there are so many, too many expressions of “genuine” Christianity? There are certainly a lot of different people saying they consider themselves to be Christians. They can even be quite adamant, justifying their claims by at least frequent church attendance and regular giving of money. Is an hour or two or even three or four hours a week at church a Scriptural justification for Salvation or a human justification for Salvation? Be careful how you answer that, because the answer might be more subtle than it seems. Scripture states we are justified in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ says we remain in Him by obeying His commands out of love. Humanity says we are defined by what we are seen doing. I repeat, humanity states we are justified by what we are seen doing; however, humanity also says if we are not seen doing something, if there is not enough evidence to prove to human understanding that we did do something, that we are excused from our hidden deeds. This is a very dangerous assumption, because Scripture clearly states that nothing is hidden from the Lord. In fact, that is very true. Ted Haggard, for one, is living proof…
So one key to deception is self deception. The person dependant on hidden sin convinces himself or herself that if the deed cannot be exposed, the person cannot be held accountable. Furthermore, the deceiver says that if you tell a lie often enough, refusing to change the untrue story, raising the volume of the lie as necessary, the lie gains a false “power” of “truth”. The lie posing as truth has an offshoot called assumption as well. All too often, people assume they know what should be true, so the assumption becomes another form of false truth, which is much more dangerous, because the mistaken or false assumption becomes a hook in the jaws or a ring in the nose, with an unbreakable chain attached that leads the person who depends on these things straight into deception. People become trapped in this deception because it can be painful, even very painful to face a level of truth that is in apparent or genuine conflict of interest with self interest, or perceived well being. A deception can and sometimes does become a refuge in which wounded or simply dissatisfied people take shelter. For this reason, satan’s attacks are either genuinely harmful or subtly enticing, because harm and dissatisfaction destabilize the individual thus disrupting the ability to think critically and rationally. The attacks also disrupt the emotions, thereby destabilizing the whole response mechanism, causing a chaotic and unstable response pattern.
This is why the Lord tells us to Stand Firm, and backs His advice with an inner strengthening that comes through the Holy Spirit, which is the hallmark evidence of a genuine Christian when we are enduring affliction. When this ability to stand in the storm is found is when we are able to overcome the luxury of assumptions about what can/should, or cannot/should not “be happening”, and get the facts. This is why I say on no uncertain terms that to claim you are a Christian, and that you are representing a testimony of what this is really like, should you choose to lie or misrepresent the facts, you have committed very serious blasphemy. I make such a confrontational statement, because if you misrepresent Jesus Christ either through reaching beyond the context of what you know for a fact is true, or through deliberate deception, you are steering the people you have influenced in the direction of hell itself. It is that serious. Therefore, deliberately lying about the Holy Spirit, claiming that He did something, such as healing, knowing that they are lying, and there are documented cases, they may well have committed the fearsome sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Now this statement applies only to those who knowingly and deliberately deceive people, claiming all the while to be anointed in the Holy Spirit, and this crime is documented among some ministries.
People don’t get lost in the comfortable, well-marked places, people get lost in the wastelands, in the unmarked wilderness. Faith is unlikely to come undone in the cushion of answered prayers and comfort zones, faith comes undone when the answers we are confronted with are either delayed or denied outright. When our desires or needs are overridden by the lord’s desires or needs, we are confronted with a conflict of interest which will be the defining test of who or what we genuinely believe and who or what we honestly serve. This is the furnace, the genuine test of our faith which Peter stated is more precious than gold.
24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”