Whose Side Are You Leaning On?
Back in the day, when this question was asked in any old-school, holiness church during testimony service, the immediate congregational response was – “Leaning on the Lord’s side!”
The praise and worship leader often followed with – “whose side are you praying on… fasting on… preaching on…” – the same response rang true.
Nowadays, the lines between the “Lord’s side” and the enemy’s side have blurred to the point where many straddle the fence or switch Team jerseys depending on the situation, circumstance, and who’s watching.
Others are clearly standing on UNholy ground, singing praises to the Most High in vain (Matthew 15:9), while unknowingly (or knowingly) enlisting in the army of the accuser, the devil.
The reasons for the confusion are diverse, for example:
- Lack of study time in the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15). Some followers of Christ do not take it upon themselves to study the Word of God. And, when we don’t, we often depend on the interpretations and explanations of others or our own rather than the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- An impotent prayer life (1 Thessalonians 5:17). For many, prayer has dwindled to a mere “bless me”, “bless them”, or “God, you know my heart.” Our busy lifestyles have pushed quality time communicating with God lower and lower on the priority list. We’re sadly missing out on some great strategies, wisdom, and warnings from God.
- False prophets/shepherds are rampant (Matthew 24:24). Jesus warned that false prophets and leaders would rise in the last days with signs and wonders – deceiving many. If we become lazy in our study habits and prayer life, we can be easily deceived by wolves in sheep clothing – and their ambassadors.
- The growing popularity of the “there is no side” lie (John 14:6). Many have bought into the thought of “there are no sides, just one God through many paths.” The subtle push for acceptance of everything being “of God” or “of Love” has led many to serve opposing masters – a prideful “self” being the chief god who opposes Father God.
So, with every new paradigm shift, school of thought, every “new thing” that presents itself to the body of Christ, we need to revisit this question – “Whose side are you on?”
Be not deceived, Team – there are only 2 sides. We’re either serving the interest of Father God, Creator of Heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ, or the deceiver, accuser, and thief – the devil (John 10:10).
Assets of the Enemy
In the world of espionage, there’s a type of “asset” (person) who doesn’t even know that they’ve been compromised and serving the interest of an opposing foreign power. The opposing power uses deceptive flattery/ego boosting, hidden agendas, and lies to trick the asset into thinking they’re doing a good deed to benefit their “side” – when they’re not.
In spiritual espionage, how does our adversary attempt to play the same tricks on us? Let’s expose some of the subtle ways in which the enemy would have us serve his interest.
Here are a few “assets” in the enemy’s arsenal – don’t believe the tricky lies:
Asset’s Purpose or Goal: To criticize believers to spiritual death and discourage the lost from ever turning to Jesus Christ; paint God as mad and angry.
The Tricky Lie: Asset highlights and glorifies sin above the power of the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive, cleanse, and present us faultless before the Father (Hebrews 9:14, Jude 24). Asset believes he or she does “the Church” a noble service as condemnation, sin-shaming, and guilt-tripping will “break” the bondage of sin and shame better than the Holy Spirit’s loving conviction (John 16:8, 13).
Asset’s Purpose or Goal: To serve as a righteous punisher of wrongdoers; teach others their “Godly lesson”.
The Tricky Lie: Through manipulation of scripture, asset walks in righteous judgment, “helping” God to chastise others for offending His “beloved” son or daughter. The enemy convinces asset that as heirs of God, he or she also inherits the “right of vengeance” (Romans 12:19).
The Preying Gossip
Asset’s Purpose or Goal: To use the good-hearted agenda and commandment of prayer to spread rumors about others.
The Tricky Lie: The more “prayer warriors” on the case the better. Asset “recruits” others to “build up” (actually, tear down) and “cover” (actually, uncover) the individual under the guise of “Pray for _______. Did you hear?” (Proverbs 11:13, James 1:26).
The Truth Mixer
Asset’s Purpose or Goal: To deceive the body of Christ with just the right amount of truth, mixed with lies; when done properly, the lies will be undetectable by an unproven follower of Christ.
The Tricky Lie: Instead of a lie defiling the truth (Galatians 5:7-9), the truth makes a lie truer. “As long as some truth is present, that’s all that matters.” Asset assures others that the presence of “some” truth is a good enough cause or excuse for all-in trust and compliance.
The Silent Witness
Asset’s Purpose or Goal: To value a false sense of peace or “minding one’s own business” by remaining silent on issues where the truth would save others, but it offends others.
The Tricky Lie: Asset understands that it is someone else’s job to speak up; it takes too much emotional and physical energy to try to save others (James 5:19-20); asset uses said energy for “good works” like helping the poor, feeding the hungry. It’s more important to serve than to offend anyone or make them uncomfortable.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Team, be not deceived by the lies and contradictions of the devil. Diligently read the play calls in the Word of God, praying for understanding and guidance through the Holy Spirit.
Lay all of your “good intentions” at the feet of Jesus. Ask Him to “Search me O’ God, try me, know my heart, thoughts…see if there be any wicked way in me.” Psalm 139:23-24
If you find that there are instances where you have been an “unknowing asset” of the enemy, be grateful for the truth, repent today, and turn your ways to God.
Allow God to renew (un-program) your mind. And, as you present your life to God by pursuing holiness and sacrificial worship, you will be able to discern the Lord’s side from that of the enemy. You will know what is good, what is pleasing, what is the true will of God for your life (Romans 12:1-2).
You will know and submit to God as your Handler – another’s voice you will not follow (John 10:4-5).
Love you all!