Becoming Neutralized

“As far as the devil is concerned, the next best thing to keeping you chained in spiritual darkness or having you live as an emotional wreck is confusing your belief system. He lost you in the eternal sense when you became a child of God. If he can muddy your mind and weaken your faith with partial truths, however, he can neutralize your effectiveness for God and stunt your growth as a Christian.”
                                                                                 ~ Neil Anderson, "Victory over Darkness"

This is a very powerful quote and one that has plagued many Christians from the very inception of the faith to today’s modern churches. The worst part of this statement, aside from being true, is how subtle the effect is realized in the person until it has metastasized fully.

The apostle Paul was extremely worried over false teachers spreading a doctrine that was not true to the Gospel. He experienced this in various places, but perhaps not as severe compared to the church at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). He urged the Thessalonians to "test everything" and to "hold on to the good" because he wanted them to evaluate the content of every instruction they received. They were to retain only the good, disregarding everything that did not comport with what they knew to be true from the Scriptures and from Paul's teaching. He even had to go so far as to add words at the end of his letter to help them identify his letters as authentic.

Today, we have many avenues of learning about God’s Word: at churches, at seminars, through books and videos, television and radio, as well as a wealth of information presented online. There are hundreds upon hundreds of websites that promote Christian thought and commentary.

The challenge is, are we exercising discernment when absorbing this information?

In contrast to the Thessalonian people, Acts 17:11 gives credit to the Bereans for their steadfastness in testing what they received every day against Scripture to determine its trustworthiness. This example indicates a basic but powerful example of how to stay true to the Truth: Know it. Know God’s Word inside and out. And if you read this and your response is that you feel you know your Bible good enough already, I can promise you that Satan just smiled because of you. And this is exactly what the quote above is talking about.

We may be children of God, but we can certainly lose our effective witness by becoming apathetic about our discipleship. Do not rest in your grace, but desire to grow in the knowledge of God through daily study. Pray to the Father to give you a renewed passion to be faithful in your study. For if we are not studying God’s Word daily then how will we know when we hear something contrary to its teachings?

If you are not already doing so, I urge you to find at least 20 to 30 minutes each day to devote to your discipleship. If you truly confess Jesus as your Lord, this should not be a burden or inconvenience.

Finally, as you re-work your schedule, meditate on Matthew 6:21 to help give you a little extra motivation in carving out a slice of your day for Him.