Is It the Nature and Character of God?
By: Sandy Kennedy
Through the years, I have learned to apply a simple test that has kept me from falling into traps of deception. There are a lot of theories and predictions circulating right now. I desire to receive the things that are true and right and dismiss the deception and misleading information. Discerning the chaff from the wheat can be challenging. Recently, a video was sent to me. The video presented a scenario on how God would triumph and Christians would receive the sweet victory of being right. It sounded good and even scriptural in part. I have to say it appealed to me. Then, after I settled my mind and looked to the Spirit, I asked the Lord, “Is this how You work, and is this Your nature and character?” His answer in my spirit was, “No, that’s not Me.”
God has performed many strange and unusual signs. He has led His people out of danger and overcame the enemy in various and often unusual ways. He has done awesome and mighty works. However, God’s nature and character in those situations remained the same.
My pastor that I came up under, Pastor Fred Kirkpatrick, talked about a group of people in his church who believed Jesus was going to return secretly in the desert of Arizona. Pastor Fred tried to talk them out of moving and showed them Matthew 24:26, “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out” (New King James Version).But they would not listen and the whole bunch packed up and moved to Arizona based upon another preacher’s prediction. As we know, Jesus did not come back.
I asked the Lord why Christians seem to be so easily led astray by crazy claims, and He gave me some insight that helped me.
First, believers have a great capacity to believe, which is a good thing if it is based on the sure foundation of the truth of the Bible. Deception often has an element of truth, but it misrepresents the Scripture. The devil does the same thing over and over, like he did when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. He uses a little truth wrapped in a lie.
Secondly, people want so badly for certain claims to be true, no matter how ridiculous or crazy! The people who moved to Arizona to greet Jesus on His return wanted Jesus to come back in their lifetime, so much so that they ignored the Word of God and the nature and character of God. Instead of the Word of God shaping their beliefs, their beliefs shaped the Word of God.
Thirdly, deceptive theories and predictions feed the flesh. The flesh desires vindication and revenge. It wants to be justified, proven right, and seen as a winner in the eyes of people. The flesh wants to look good. Romans 8:7 says, “the flesh is enmity against God” (American Standard Version). It never ends well when we allow the flesh to lead instead of our spirit.
Lastly, false and erroneous teaching contributes to deception. There is much end time teaching that is more like an action/thriller movie than it is about the true character and nature of God and the victory we already have in the kingdom. Misinterpretation of the Bible only adds fuel to the fire of deception.
When I ask if something is consistent with God’s nature and character and the answer to my question is yes, then I can move forward with other tests for biblical accuracy and truth. But if it cannot pass this test, then I discard it. By doing so, the Lord has kept me safe and out of a lot of trouble through the years. Thank you, Jesus!
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.