What’s In Your Heart?
There’s a lot of talk today about false teachers, false doctrines, and deceiving spirits but very little talk about how believers fall prey to them. We point fingers at those who demonstrate false signs and wonders as if they’re to blame for all that is wrong in the world. But what about our part?
Don’t we have some responsibility as the ones who receive false teaching?
And how is it that one person is barely affected by false teaching while another falls easy prey to it?
Contrary to how it might seem, it isn’t the false teaching itself that’s the problem. The bible says, “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.” (Titus 1:15)
To the person with a darkened heart, no teaching or experience—regardless of how divine it might be—can benefit them spiritually. Even an encounter with God Himself will produce poor fruit. Lucifer had many encounters with God, but none of them benefited him spiritually because his heart was evil. It is the condition of your heart that determines the spiritual trajectory of your life and the fruit that’s produced from the teachings you listen to and experiences you have. And if your heart is corrupt, no experience can be pure for you.
By contrast, the one whose heart is pure seems to benefit from virtually every kind of experience, both those we would call demonic and those we would call heavenly. While the enemy may have an opportunity to sow seeds in the garden of a pure heart, no evil fruit can come from it, because the soil of such a heart will only produce fruit that is pure. If your heart has no darkness in it, you can stand in a den of demons and something positive will come from it.
James wrote that we’re drawn away from the truth by our own evil desires. Many times we fall prey to deception while seeking something good, because we’re seeking it for the wrong reason. Allow me to illustrate:
You may want to travel to heaven to visit the throne of God, and there are many reasons why you might want to do this, but it is precisely the why (your motive) that determines the kind of fruit that will come from such an experience.
One reason to visit heaven is that you’ve fallen madly in love with the Father and you desire to see Him face-to-face. There’s nothing wrong with this motive, and the enemy can’t do much to trip you up if this is the real motive of your heart.
But we humans are very good at telling people we’re doing something for one reason, while secretly doing it for another. You might tell people your motive is intimacy with the father, but if deep inside, the real reason you want to visit heaven is to tell your friends what it was like because you believe it will impress them, there’s a good chance something negative will come from the experience. This is because your real motive is self-importance. And the desire for self-importance is fertile soil for the enemy’s seed.
Supernatural experiences can be wonderfully encouraging or dark and confusing. Which kind you have is determined by what lies within your heart. So before you seek them, let the Holy Spirit purge your heart of any wrong motives. Then you’ll be able to enjoy all that God wants you to do with Him and the enemy won’t be able to spoil your adventure.