If there’s one thing I know, it’s that people can be completely ignorant and still operate in the Spirit. I once worked for a great man of God. He loved Jesus and wanted to live right before Him. One time he was in the hospital with pneumonia and had a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ walking up a hill with His back beaten and bloody. He recounted this vision to me with such detail, recalling even the sharp contrast in the red blood against the green grass. I have no doubt that it was a true vision from God. The problem was that he was ignorant in how to interpret the vision. He thought that it meant that since Jesus was willing to suffer that much for him, then he should be willing to suffer pneumonia for Jesus. How sad! He was given a vision showing that Jesus had already carried his sickness and healed all his diseases to strengthen his faith, but because he lacked understanding, this man got it all wrong!
I’ve known other folks who genuinely loved God, but got distracted by the bright billboard strategies of satan. These good people wanted to experience a mighty move of God so badly that they got caught up in the flakiness of whatever the current “revival” was doing. I have watched many get excited about “something new” and then disappointed (and sometimes deeply wounded) over the outcome. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen plenty of these people who became so deceived by the trickery that they completely lost touch with God’s plan for their lives. Consider William Branham, the great healing evangelist of the 1940’s. He started off pursuing God, but then started experiencing visitations from angels. He became so deceived that he started to think he was Elijah the prophet. Because of his deception, many other believers began to doubt that God really wanted them healed. Now that is exactly what the enemy intends; to discredit God’s reality, destroy ministries, and turn people away from the Faith.
Any text that we take out of context is a pretext. The same goes for any sign. Any sign taken out of the context that it was received (good or bad) is a pretext and can get us into trouble. That’s the problem with living by signs. They can be interpreted incorrectly. They can come from the wrong people. We can build a temple and worship at the sign, never making it to our God-purposed destination. We MUST learn to walk by faith after the spirit. We must understand how to discern signs and compare them to our instruction manual. We must keep our focus on where God is taking us and not get caught up in the supernatural things around us on the way.
(First published 07.06.08)