“That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.” Galatians 5:8
In this day and age, there is so many kinds of persuasion that it is hard to put our fingers on just one. When I think about the word persuasion, I imagine it is a positive word. I am even reminded of another verse in Romans 8:38-39, when Paul says, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In that word rests absolute confidence in the thing you believe. There is not a doubt in your belief. We may even complement someone for their ability to be persuasive. However, in Galatians 5:8, the word persuasion, doesn’t sound so positive. Rather, another word comes to mind; perversion. You see, whatever the Galatians were being persuaded about did not come from God, the one who called them. And if this persuasion didn’t come from God, then to me, it’s perversion. Likewise, we are persuaded against our faith by the many perversions in the world, and many times, we don’t even realize it.
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It’s important to know yourself; your strengths, your weaknesses, your vision for your life, your likes, and dislikes, and all that makes you, You. Why wouldn’t our Maker want us to know all these things about ourselves? He already knows the amount of strands in our heads. In fact, God went as far as to say, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… (Jeremiah 1:5). Clearly, God is not trying to hide our gifts from us. However, I think that it is placed so deep into our hearts, that the only way we can find these treasures is when we are intentional about seeking God, and asking Him who we really are, and who He made us to be. That is the way into ourselves. But, we often let other people dictate what we are supposed to do with our lives, and the negative things about our personalities. We grow up with a list of things others have said about us, and we carry them around believing that this is who God made us to be. These are just some of the perversions sown in our lives, and God says, (it did) not come from the one who calls you.
For years, I have walked around with my own set of lies about myself. All the lies came in three themes: I am alone, I am unloved, and I do not belong. I carried them around like prizes, and when I had a bad day, Satan will remind me of one of these lies, which only continued to hold me captive. These kinds of persuasions did not come from the one who called me.
When we know ourselves and we know God, it’s easy to know when we are being lied to, or tempted to do something we do not want to do. I know for women, sexuality is always one of those temptations. We seem to be so confused when it comes to God’s truth about it. For a long time, I believed that if a guy showed interest, that this is the one. I needed to do everything to ensure that he likes me. I stop thinking about what I liked, what I valued, what my visions are, and I begin to centre my focus on this one individual. I forget to invite God’s presence, and ask God if this person is good for me. I suddenly believe that this area of my life is in my control. And as long as I follow the movie script (whatever those check list of items are), that I will get what I want….even if I have to compromise on a few things. Somehow, my needs are no longer that important. And what God told me in His word is not that important. I don’t know why I do this, it just happens. Except that, perhaps I have a set of perverted lies in my heart, and when placed in certain circumstances, the enemy of our souls, will pull one out and use it as a weapon to keep us hostage!
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What else could it be? Sexuality is my area where I get tempted. But what is yours? Do you steal things? Do you watch those porn videos? Or, do you masturbate? I mean, there is so many kinds of persuasions, Satan is bound to get you one way or another. To be quite frank, he most likely knows you more than you know yourself. I mean, how hard is it to get to know someone? Have you ever been on a few dates, and after a while you just know the person. You know their laughs, their likes, where they live, their families, friends, and even where they work. I mean, it doesn’t take long right? So, Satan probably knows you extremely well. Why haven’t you been getting to know yourself then? Yet, you have gotten to know these things about someone else. If you did, you would know what purposes were hidden in your own heart. You would know the visions God had for you, just like he had for Jeremiah, “….I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. But, we go about dating and flaunting ourselves at someone else. Why? I think it’s more prudent to know yourself, and what you want so that you can go about selecting someone who best suits you.
Ultimately, if we were more focused on learning about who we are, and what God made us for, we wouldn’t be caught following perversions. We would be able to select what is best for ourselves, either it’s a mate, friendships, jobs, a home, or volunteer endeavours. We wouldn’t be persuaded so easily by whatever traps the enemy of souls tempt us with. Instead, we would walk away, guard our hearts better, or whatever boundaries we so choose. We would already know what our Father in heaven wants from our lives, and we would know that He would never tempt us to do anything evil, no matter how good it looks. It’s only easy to get confused when we are far from God’s truth. I know this very well. But, here is what I suggest. Be more persuaded about who God is, the fact that He loves you, and has called you before you were born. And when you know this, seek Him about who you are, and who He made you to be. That way, you will never have need to be led into any kind of perversions.