Proverbs 25:14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
Shakespeare’s Richard III – Lady Anne says, “For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell.” I have to ask myself if I have made anyone’s happy earth a hell. What am I capable of when it comes to the betrayal of Jesus and my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord? This is not a hard concept to understand. We are all capable of responding to an event in life just the way Judas did. We can all be treacherous if we let our emotions rule, and not allow the Holy Spirit to instruct our hearts.
Defrauding a person with the claims of having spiritual insight into their lives is one of the worst betrayals there is. Prov. 25:14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Everyone is capable of deceit, but to use the gifts of God as a devious way to get what you want is an indictment against our character. This deception is flourishing in this modern day of syncretistic beliefs. We have to be careful of claiming that God said something when in fact it is our own prejudice dictating nuances from our own carnal soul.
In the book of Acts, we read the story of Simon Magus, who was using sorcery and trickery to bewitch the people of Samaria by claiming to have a gift from God. Acts 8:9 A man named Simon had previously practiced sorcery in that city and amazed the Samaritan people, while claiming to be somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least of them to the greatest, and they said, “This man is called the Great Power of God.” People who practice this type of con so that they can cheat or trick someone by gaining their trust and causing them to believe something that is not true, are literally making a person’s happy earth a hell. This is an ugly sin.
Simon noticed the Apostles were ministering in the real power of the Holy Spirit. He tried to buy this power. Acts 8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also so that anyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter’s response is fast and clearly denounces this request. Acts 8:20 But Peter told him, “May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 “You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God.
Peter went on to say, Acts 8:23 “For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by wickedness.” Poisoned and bound people can only poison other people. This is why using the ecclesiastical calling on our life as a tool to falsely manipulate others is insidious. Jer. 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. This is also why praying for our pastors is so important. Pastors are continually under attack by having the same temptations as everyone else, but with the added burdens and responsibility of ministry. Pray for your ministers!!!
As a minister, author, and student of God’s word, I have to continually look for the Judas that may try to work out a scheme from my soul. As the scripture says, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The opportunities to be manipulative and conniving are as available to me as they were to Simon Magus. Satan does not have any new tricks or temptations. He is still using the same old things because they work. However, I can thank God for His leading and prompting when these guileful lies try to slip in. I do not want to make anyone’s happy earth a hell. There is enough hell to go around without me adding to it.
Judas and Simon allowed the enemy to enter their hearts because they had an agenda that was different than the Lord’s. We are all capable of becoming a Judas because we are human. Only Jesus can deliver us from ourselves and help us choose the direction the Lord has ordained for us. Any minister can tell you that they know a fellow minister who crashed and burned because they allowed their soul to enter into the corruption of a Simoniac. It is a heartbreaking thing to witness. Keep Jesus at the forefront of your heart and pray continually for each other. Eph. 6:18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.