Read: 1 John 4:1-6
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
Matthew 7:15 NIV
One of my tasks with our state’s junior Senator was to serve as a liaison between his constituents and Federal agencies. After listening carefully to a constituent’s story, I would have them fill out a formal request for our assistance and provide me with copies of any documents pertinent to their case. I would then send a letter to the agency involved, asking if they had given full consideration to the individual in question. I was well acquainted with Federal policy and did my job well. Most of my cases dealt with tax and immigration issues and were easily resolved (usually in the constituent’s favor).
Some of our constituents, however, were not satisfied to know that I was working on their case. Instead, they wanted the Senator, himself, to deal with the situation – hoping that he might be able to “pull some strings” and get them off the hook. It was not uncommon for such an enquirer to alert me to their close family connections (usually with the Senator’s deceased mother or brother). This failing, I was sometimes informed that they had already spoken to the Senator personally and that he had given them instructions to instruct me to write a letter on their behalf ordering the Federal agency involved to cease persecuting them immediately.
Such letters were not in keeping with Senate policy, but we still took the time to run the names of each “best friend” past the Senator. On the rare occasion that a constituent had told the truth about their connection, it gave him the opportunity to express sympathy and reassure them that his staff would do everything possible to assist in the resolution of their case. More often than not, however, the names of these intimate acquaintances failed to even ring a bell.
Regardless of whether the Senator knew each constituent or not, my orders remained the same – and I was smart enough to know that obedience to the law of the land was a better bet than adherence to the directions of someone who simply claimed to be acting on the Senator’s behalf.
Scripture warns us of similar people in our spiritual lives. Ignoring the clear instructions of God’s Word, these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” do whatever is necessary to further their own interests… even if doing so will harm others. Followers of Christ must always be on the lookout for such false messengers, alert and ready to defend against their lies!
Challenge: The best way to defend against falsehood is to know the truth… and there is no better source of truth than God’s Word. If you don’t already have a Bible reading plan in place, take time to create one. Just a few minutes a day can make the difference between walking with God or being led astray!