Beware of the Fine Print…
Updated: Jul 23, 2022
The other day I was leaving a meeting in downtown OKC and was headed over to Andy’s Frozen Custard, by Bethany, to purchase their strawberry shortcake sunday. Let me tell you, nothing but delicious! As I stopped on the corner of Hefner Parkway (off ramp) and NW Expressway, I saw this peculiar sign that read, “Trying to get a Lil ice cream.” Now that intrigued me since I was on my way to get some myself. I had to take a quick picture, and as I did, I looked around to see if anyone was still in the area to give them cash. Not a person was in sight. The light turned green, so I went through the intersection and continued to pursue my destination.
I love how God speaks to us. It’s the little or should I say, “Lil” things in life. As I returned home, I sent my husband a text of the picture. He zoomed in because there was some fine print on the corner that I failed to see which said, “Thank you, in need of weed.” We started laughing out loud and my initial thought was, “Well, at least they were honest!”
The fine print may not be seen to us as well. Sometimes the luring statement or advertisement is bigger causing our eyes not to see the important and glaring things in front of us. Unfortunately it’s in the fine print that the real meaning becomes apparent.
What do we do if we are manipulated by thinking we’re giving money for ice cream but in reality we’re giving money for weed? What does God’s word say about being tricked, deceived or manipulated?
Let’s turn to 1 John 4:1 (ESV), which says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” And another passage in Romans 16:17-18 (ESV), which says, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”
God is telling us as His children to watch out and test every spirit. That means the spirit in our brothers and sisters in Christ as well, not just evil spirits in unbelievers. Not everyone has the best intentions. Not everyone is walking with Jesus. Not everyone is building and orchestrating under the authority of Jesus Christ. God tells us when that spirit is revealed to us, to avoid them completely. For they aren’t serving Jesus, but rather their own gods and cravings of ministry fame, their fame or their self gratifications. They flatter by their tongues but their hearts are far from their speech. Only the naive will go for it, but the ones who are wise will understand and run.
Colossians 2:8 (ESV), says, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” And in 2 Timothy 3:13 (ESV), it says, “While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
If we are held captive, we are a prisoner to the thoughts and consequences that come from being deceived. We might battle anxiousness, fear, resentment or discouragement. We may even feel let down or fooled when we finally see what that person has done. 2 Timothy tells us that once an evil person goes on in their deceit, they become bad to worse and also become deceived themselves, thinking they are doing things the “right way.”
I believe many churches in America have struggled with believing their way is right rather than asking God His way first. This has caused many to be deceived by fools and foolish talk. Once our eyes are opened to their schemes, we have a choice to abandon them or stay and be deceived.
Remember these words if you encounter a spirit that makes you uneasy or you see the fruit of a person with a conflicting spirit. Listen, pray and ask God to help you to discern first and abandon it altogether, if God reveals that person or situation is not of Him. God wants us healthy, encouraged, and equipped.
Let’s listen to God and walk in His Spirit always.