Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” These two roles are laid out pretty clearly: Jesus comes to bring life; the enemy, Satan, comes to bring death. It should be fairly easy to tell which is which, right?
Unfortunately, so often, we settle for what seems like the abundant life, but what is actually less than God truly has for us. How does this happen? A clue is found in 2 Corinthians 11:14, which says, “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” From this verse, we see that our enemy is incredibly gifted at masking his true nature and intentions. If an angel of light appeared, most of us would assume that he or she was there to bring us something good—we would probably even go so far as to trust this angel. But that’s the entire point: not everything that we perceive as abundant life is truly the life God has for us.
I’ve come to believe that the most dangerous form of the enemy’s manifestation in our life is when he causes us to believe that the life we live today is in fact the abundance that God promises. In other words, if he can make us believe that life as it is today is that abundance, while in reality, there’s a world out there that we don’t know of, and he can keep us from experiencing that, he’s accomplished his goal.
So how do we prevent ourselves from being duped by the angel of light? In Revelation 4, John is taken in a vision and shown the heavenly realm. He talks with God in this vision. Verse 1 says, “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’”
What does the Lord do before revealing anything else to John? What does He ask John to do? “Come up here.” The truth is that there’s a reality out there that we don’t even know exists—that’s far greater, that’s far better, than current experience. But we are kept from experiencing that, because we’re so preprogrammed to think that we’ve already attained it. What if there’s a reality waiting for you—a door open in heaven with a future—that’s far different than what you’re experiencing today?
God has to elevate our perspective so that we’ll be able to see the true nature of the abundant life He’s come to give us—not merely what we assume that abundant life to be. Only then can we truly discern God’s best for us, and avoid being duped by the angel of light.
Martijn van Tilborgh is the co-founder of Kidmin Nation, owner of Four Rivers Media and Kudu Publishing, and is a renowned author, speaker, and leader in the marketing and communications space. books as handbooks worldwide in leadership development.
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