1 Timothy 4-6
There are many, many New Testament warnings about false Christs, prophets, and teachers as well “another Gospel”. All believers are to heed these strong warnings, avoiding distortions of doctrine and behavior.
In 1 Timothy 4:1 we read, “Now the Spirit expressly speaks that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.”
We Christians may be aware of many of the OBVIOUS seducing deceptions around us, but sadly many believers these days are falling prey to many tempting SUBTLE distractions, such as:
Emphasis on Self — when prayers, plans and concerns about one’s self (pride) take precedence over a proper focus on God.
Experiences — when personal spiritual experiences have more value and attention than clear biblical truths. (Many use those experiences to “validate” new doctrine or questionable behavior.)
Worldliness and Busyness –when issues (fame, fortune, excesses in hobbies, careers, entertainment, etc.) habitually distract us from the Lord, the Word, church, and spiritual growth.
A “new spirituality” — promoted in current books, movies, social media, games, etc., cleverly denying God, His Word and ways, while promoting old and new lies from our enemy.
Reading about the Bible instead of studying the Bible itself! (Supplemental materials can be good, but the Bible is from God.)
Making happiness the goal in life (or health, or career, or sports, or whatever) instead of seeking FIRST the kingdom of God.
Scripture twisting to make any doctrine “more palatable” to the person. This includes the “pick & choose” approach for truth.
Frankly, the devil doesn’t really care WHICH deception or distraction keeps us from the Lord — just as long as SOMETHING does!!
To avoid these seducing problems, let us BE AWARE…
Here are some practical tools to guard ourselves against the deceptions and distractions of the enemy:
In-depth, regular reading and studying of all the Bible; deep and abiding prayer; being God’s true servant; pursuing the Spirit’s guidance; faith, trust and obedience consistent with the New Life; giving glory to God; proper use of spiritual gifts; being “Bereans” and personally checking the validity of things against God’s truths in the Bible; putting on the “armor of God” to thwart the wiles of the enemy.