Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not religious I’m spiritual.”? I can’t even tell you how many times I said that exact same line in my life before I came to know Jesus Christ. Now I realize what I was really saying: “I’M LOST AND CONFUSED.”
Like most people who have ever made this statement, I said I wanted truth, but I was only willing to explore “truths” that seemed to be in line with my personal philosophies and beliefs and validated my own selfish desires and ambitions. I also thought that all of the “coincidences” I experienced validated these truths and showed me I was on the right path. It never occurred to me I was being deceived.
I had not learned that every thought, idea, and notion that crossed my mind was not always my own, and did not always originate from a benevolent source. I had no idea how all of life was influenced by spiritual forces, and that the battle between good and evil, light and dark and heaven and hell is very real and very literal. C.S. Lewis put it so well when he stated:
“The greatest lie the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.”
I assume most who share my same previous spiritual beliefs are unaware of these Scriptures:
“ … for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
The stereotypical image our culture gives us of Satan, this hoofed, horned scary red guy with a pointy tail and pitchfork is not at all how he shows up. He is the master of deceit and lies and is crafty–most of the ways he uses to get people to stray from the truth are very subtle and honestly quite ingenious. Because most people (even many Church attending “Christians”) don’t actually read the Bible themselves, they forget what it says and they are easy targets to be led astray.
No the devil doesn’t appear as he really is, and we forget that he was actually God’s most magnificent creation. He knows our deepest desires and our darkest secrets and can use them to manipulate us, and feed us exactly what we are hungry for.
Did you know many eastern religions and ancient civilizations have eery similarities about their “deities” being serpents that come from beneath the earth? Yogic practices have the goal of uncoiling the “serpent” (kundalini) at the base of your spine to achieve god consciousness. Cults and false religious like Mormons and the Bahai faith were birthed from their “prophets” or founders being visited by angelic beings of light. Almost every new age teacher I know of either went through some dramatic “spiritual awakening” or claims to receive their revelation from “spirit guides,” “ascended masters” or angels.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Do your beliefs challenge you to change or help you justify behaviors you know are wrong? Straying from God wreaks havoc on our moral compass. We must be vigilant and test our spiritual beliefs.
“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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (1 John 4:1-3).
God’s word says that any spirit that denies the deity of Christ is not from God, so in light of that truth it is obvious that any other belief and philosophy that exists outside of that and claims to be spiritual is a deception. Yet with all this said I’m still not religious. I have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I hate religion, but I love Jesus Christ.
What about you? What do you think of our culture’s obsession with “spirituality”?