Look Out for Quacks
"'Come, let us meet together on one of the villages on the plain of Ono.' But they were scheming to harm me."1
When Nehemiah and the Israelites had almost completed rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem several centuries BC, enemies were strongly opposed to their progress and sought through trickery to deceive Nehemiah and get rid of him. They tried to lure him away from his work and invited him to meet with them in the Plain of Ono.
But Nehemiah's reply was, "O no!" He knew their stories were fabricated and that they were lying. Just as well he did, otherwise he would have been destroyed and God's work frustrated. Nehemiah stuck to the job God commissioned him to do until the work was finished and the walls rebuilt. He didn't allow himself to be sidetracked. Whenever we get involved in God's work, there is always opposition. The enemy attacks at every opportunity and usually at our most vulnerable places. He is a master of deceit and we, like Nehemiah, need to be aware of his devices.
More often than not, he comes as an angel of light—seemingly as a teacher and promoter of truth. But many a sincere Christian has been deceived and led astray by these often authoritative-sounding, silver-tongued orators, and deceptive leaders who claim to be coming in the name of the Lord. "Be careful," Jesus said to them [His disciples]. "Be on your guard against the yeast [false teaching] of the Pharisees and Sadducees [the religious leaders of Jesus's day]."2
At the risk of being over-repetitious, when in doubt, always pray for God to reveal to you the truth. And the more connected we are with our own inner truth—that is, the more honest we are with our own self—the easier and quicker we will "smell" (sense and discern) the false teachings of those who are not for real.
So, be on your guard and watch out for phony people with phony solutions.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a man or woman of truth so I will always have the insight to discern all false teaching and never be led astray from the true teachings of Your Word no matter how eloquent or persuasive the teachers may be. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Nehemiah 6:2 (NIV).
2. Matthew 16:6 (NIV).