When I was a kid, the Halloween holiday had a whole different feeling than now. It was a fun time of parties, bobbing for apples, eating candy corn, Krispy treats and chocolate cupcakes! Our thoughts were not of what the holiday meant, as it is an evil time, and all these new blood sucking movies are contributing to the delinquency of minors, the devil gets enough advertisement without having a holiday to celebrate his demons and devils. That being said; I think the most fun in that particular holiday, was being able to wear a costume and mask. We tried to fool people as to who we were, and were mostly unsuccessful, but for a little while we were someone else.
It seems to me that a lot of us wear masks every day of the year and try to fool people as to who we are, and some are more successful than they should be! The one gift that is most needed in the body of Christ is the gift of discernment, why? Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Verse 16 tells us how to know them “by their fruits”. We know that you don’t pick apples off a fig tree. 1 Cor. 12:10 gives a list of the gifts from the Holy Spirit and the discerning of spirits is right there among them, but it seems to be the least used of all. I see people that seem so smart, maybe even “spiritual” and yet they get sucked into the vices that people lay out for them like traps and fall into it seemingly without knowing how it happened! Judas acted like Jesus’ best bud but when it came time, he gave Him up and did that with a KISS! Jesus KNEWit was coming, He told the disciples as they ate the Last Supper that one that sat among them would soon betray him. That betrayal was part of the Master Plan, the plan of salvation for us, and I wonder if Judas really thought that he had Jesus fooled?
We are all guilty of putting on our own disguises; we put on our “smiley face” and go out making people think all is well, even when our heart is breaking, false confidence even when we’ve been humiliated and for some, fake the appearance of holiness when our insides look like Jesus’ description in Matthew 23:27 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds. God is the only One who really knows who we are, we may fool others with smoke and mirrors but read Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
When I pray for someone in need of discernment, I pray for me first! I don’t want to be the one that gets fooled by anyone, but mostly don’t want to fool myself into thinking that I am living in the center of God’s will when a little examination of my insides will show me differently. Then I pray for you. I want to pull off any mask I wear trying to make myself seem to be anything that I am not. I would hope that with my mask gone you would see a child of God that loves Him as the Father and worships Jesus, the Christ.
If we work on presenting our own selves correctly, we can learn to discern others!