It was a dark and wild winter’s night, and the Captain was desperately searching for a safe haven for his ship, his crew and for the costly cargo in the hold. He knew that this coastline had good inlets for sheltering a large square-rigged sailing ship of those days, but there were dangerous hazards, especially at night.
Suddenly he caught sight of a gently swaying lamp above the black shoreline: surely a ship safely at anchor! Bringing his own ship around, he headed straight for the comforting light, carelessly untroubled by the concerns voiced by his experienced First Mate, a man who knew all too well the lawless ways of the inhabitants of this part of the coast.
Without any warning, a thunderous sound of splitting wood announced the disastrous end of this fateful voyage. The cruel ship-wreckers on shore, swaying their oil-lamp on a high pole, had lured this fine ship on to rocks close to the beach, leading to destruction, death and plunder of the precious cargo.
We live in dangerous times for the Body of Christ. If we don’t take time to heed the wisdom and instructions of the Word of God, we can easily fall foul of the many false lights that are powered by the enemy, as a result of the carelessness of those giving him licence. Given opportunity, he’s clearly adept at disguising himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
There’s surely a lesson for believers in this simple story of the ship-wreckers. Beware of persuasive teaching, which isn’t consistent with biblical truth. Beware of attractive therapies that offer spiritual restoration, without the need for repentance. Beware of seductive declarations of human entitlement, which ignore the need for a covenant relationship with God. Beware of tempting supernatural experiences that demonstrate little of the character of Jesus. Beware of deceptive philosophies, which follow the lies of New Age beliefs rather than the truth of the Everlasting God. Beware of persuasive arguments, which condone the morality of the world rather than seeking the purity of Jesus. Beware of alluring calls to multi-faith worship, when Jesus has proclaimed He’s the only way to Father-God. In short, beware of enticing false lights!
Prayer: Jesus, You’re the true Light, leading us to safety. In You is all goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:9). Lord, keep us alert to dangerous false lights that would take us off course. Remind us to take heed of the guiding of Your Spirit, through Your Word and through one another in the Body of Christ. Amen.
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