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The Incarnation of Jesus Christ, to bring about the redemption of those who are called according to His Glory, didn’t begin in Bethlehem.

It began at the beginning of creation, when God knew that Adam and Eve, and the rest of mankind, would be too weak to stand with Him on our own.

We always were, and always will be, deceived in this world. Those who say they are not deceived, already are!!! It is a part of this fallen world. But, if we don’t go to the Lord with it right away, it can become irreparable. The minute we go to Him, the renewing process begins, and He will clear the way for us.

Peter said that he would not leave the Lord, though everyone else does, but he denied Him three times.

Paul learned from that, and said in the Book of Acts, that we must always, when speaking of our plans, say, “if the Lord wills” . We must be so committed and submitted to His perfect will for us that we never lay plans ourselves without recognizing that He can and will over-ride them at His will.

When Ruth came back to the family land with her mother-in-law Naomi, and she “happened” to go to the field of Boaz to glean grain for herself and Naomi, it was in God’s plan. She was an ancestor of Jesus Christ’s humanity. The family line continued because Ruth was sensitive to God’s voice in her life.

All the way through the Bible, we see the same type of thing, as we trace the lineage of Jesus back to Adam. Rahab, the harlot, who saved the spies alive, and was spared, and the others, all perfectly guided by Almighty God. All of God’s plans revolve around using people who are willing to obey His Still, Small voice.

But it is not natural for mankind to be submitted to God. We all find some way to do something to “earn”, if not our salvation, then our relationship to Almighty God and Jesus, or blessings for ourselves or others.

This is partly due to our weak human flesh, and partly due to the influence of the devil. He doesn’t care how he performs the job, his only goal is to keep our eyes off of the Lord’s will and onto our own. Many times the deception will look very good, and we will feel we are getting very close to Our Lord.

We may think that we are sure we are submitted to His will. We don’t like material things, We don’t want to be rich, and we know that salvation is through Jesus Christ, and not of ourselves, so its obvious we are not deceived by any of these things the devil can throw at we.

I assure you, we all are, its just different for each of us.

Some focus on material things….possessions, health, family, etc., and try and try to muster up the faith to twist God’s arm to give it to them. The famous faith preachers will tell you that if you had enough faith, and give enough “seed faith” money, Jesus will be impressed, with your ‘mustard seed” faith, and grant your wish.

This is a lie from the devil! God will heal us, provide for us, and guide us, as He sees fit. Our job is to fit into His plan and be conformed to His will and nothing more. What we see as blessings, may not be so in His Almighty eyes. He knows what we really need, and don’t need.

He is not impressed by our faith. “Faith” can be nothing more than an idol that we worship to get our own way, and Our Lord is abhorred by it!!!

Real faith is focused on the Lord Himself, not on what we want from Him. Its not faith in healing, providing, etc., but faith in HIM, knowing that whatever He gives us, or doesn’t give us, is ultimately the best for us, because of whom He is and His love for us.

Another deception is prayer. Prayer can also become an idol. How many times have we heard people say something like, “I made it through that because of your prayers” or, “I could feel your prayers bringing me through this”, or, “because of all of your prayers, the Lord healed me.”

We are commanded to pray for others, and it is a joy to do so, but don’t confuse the prayers with the power of God to enforce His Perfect will in a situation! That is putting ourselves above God, in a sense, saying that WE can manipulate God, or that God NEEDS our prayers in order to bless someone. That is pure BLASPHEMY straight from the pits of hell, and the devil is delighted.

Our faith should be in Our Lord knowing just what to do and having our best interested in mind for eternity, even though at the time it may not seem like it…..not in what WE can do to make ourselves or our friends feel better about life in this world.

Human nature and the devil will try to put human will over God’s will every time, and it is something we need to constantly be on guard for, praying for Our Lord to show us when we are going astray, and help us to get back to the strait and narrow path.

Still others are drawn aside by legalism, and judging of others. It is God’s job to judge, and the Holy Spirit’s job to convict. It is never our job to do either of those things. We are commanded to judge doctrines, and to judge teachers by their fruits, but individuals, we are only to witness to, and that, only when we are sure it is from the Holy Spirit and not ourselves.

People who haven’t developed their personal relationship with the Lord, even though saved, are vulnerable to this, because they are still trying to “make points” with the Lord by doing everything right, and they force this on others to get closer to the Lord.

It is not what we do, but what we ARE that the Lord looks at. When we ARE right with Him, we will automatically DO the right things. He isn’t interested in rituals, doing them or not doing them, He is only interested in how our hearts are toward Him. Are our eyes totally focused on Him and His perfect will for us, or are we still trying to show Him how good we are? We see this particularly at Christmas time, when some people are saying we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. The Lord doesn’t care if we do or not. If we are celebrating from our heart, with no eye toward pagan idols, He knows we are doing it for Him. If we don’t celebrate because of what others say, we are trying to obey Him with limited knowledge of the character of God. If, for our own reasons, we want to treat every day the same, and not celebrate it, that’s fine with Him also.

Looking to carnal witnessing of our relationship to God, and judging others on that basis, is a way of keeping our human pride and still looking like we are doing God’s will.

So, our constant plea to Our Lord should be to keep us in line with His perfect will, and that will cover all areas of our lives.

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