It doesn’t take great spiritual depth to understand that we are living in the last days. If we take a moment to look, we can see the signs that the Bible warns would be happening in the latter days. First Timothy 3:1 tell us that the last days would be “perilous” or times of stress and 2 Peter 3:3 says that there would be scoffers that walk according to their own lusts. Those aren’t thrilling signs, but we must also remember the promises that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Acts 2:17) and that Jesus Himself would speak to us (Hebrews 1:3).
It is interesting to note that the Apostles called the time frame after Jesus ascension the “last days.” It may seem that the last days have been a long time, but we must know that with each day we are closer to the end and His return. We must be aware that the last days will continue to get darker and darker, but we are not to fear because He promises the Church will get brighter and brighter. So how the last days are for us will be determined by where we walk. If we are firmly planted in the Church, the days will get better and better, but if we have one foot in the world, the days will continue to get harder and more stressful.
One of the things that we must be aware of is that our enemy is working to pull the Church apart. This would make sense since the Church is the resisting force for everything our enemy wants to do. Matthew 24:24 tells us how our enemy plans to do this. It is one of his favorite tools called deception. Deception is defined as “the act of causing someone to believe something as true and valid what is false or invalid.” As believers a simple word for deception is a misleading. As the Church we should be aware that we are a target for the enemy and his desire is to mislead us. Whether it be through thoughts, feelings, desires or circumstances, our enemy wants to deceive us. He would like us to take a false thought as true, to have an invalid feeling and validate it, to have a desire for something that would lead us away from Christ, or to be marked with a circumstance that steals our hope. Any way he can work deception in our life and lead us away from the Church or our Savior is a triumph for Satan.
For months now we have been hearing messages on Sunday morning about resisting the enemy, but we must recognize where our enemy is working if we are going to resist him. Accusations against others, feelings of hopelessness or despair, fear or intimidation, a desire to quit are just a few of the enemy’s workings. Resisting the enemy doesn’t just mean sickness, crisis, or big trouble. We must recognize his number one tool is to get us to take something as valid in our mind when it is actually false. It is the last days where we cannot be ignorant of what he is trying to do. It is time for us to see who our real enemy is. It is not the one we sit next to in church, the ones we work with or the obligations we have. It is the one dropping thoughts and emotions in our mind with the hope that we take his bait.
We cannot spiritually afford to be mislead, because wherever we are will determine if our days get brighter and brighter or darker and darker. It is time we live life stronger for God and truly resist our enemy.
Be strong in the Lord,
Pastor Jerry and Trudy