When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite in whom there is no guile.” (John 1:47)
The word “guile” is translated “deceit” in NASB. “Covetous” in INT (Biblos Interlinear Bible). in English “guile.” “Trickery” as in Matt 26:4. or “craft” as in a method they used to capture Jesus and put him to death. The word describes one who uses “methods” “craftiness” to lure his prey or again one whose trade “craft” or employment it is to lure use “the faith” as a means of personal gain and benefit. or one who uses religion to advance their own self interest.
Cares, Snares and The evil of Guile!
Christianity, I prefer to say the faith once delivered as there is a difference between today’s Christianity and the “faith once delivered.” The faith of those of “the way” was in serving him, the Lord. Denial of yourself and taking up ones cross. Self had died, self must die. Selfish ambition personal ideals of success must die for it in in death we find our life and that life is most characterised by us revealing him. The gain we have then is Christlikeness and eternal life.
The word “Guile in the Greek means “deceit” “bait” or “snare.” its what happens when we are lulled by the media and Hollywood into a state where we think that we too have to be like the world in order to be seen as a success. Its when we embrace their ideas, “guile” and smile that we begin to contaminate our core being.
I saw a young preacher the other day, he had come to UK and was enjoying it too. He was enjoying the attention and played to the crowd, he boasted of his Lamborghini and how a teacher once told him that an entire class of children wanted to be a prophet like him when they grew up. He strutted the platform, arrogantly commanded folks to come forward, he had an air of brazenness that was rooted in arrogance.
Since when have we the right to talk abruptly and disrespectfully to folks under the disguise of authority? Success, style, pulpit theatrics, showmanship, shouting, ranting and raving, trademarks of the carnal, the self motivated and the self proclaimed prophet, luring young people into performance preaching, entertainment church, no humility and all self. The anointing is not arrogant or rude or self promoting ( 1Cor 14). If we have not love we are a sounding cymbal. Go home preacher learn respect and what it means to love others first then when self has been conquered enter the pulpit.
As Charles Spurgeon states, “Depart from evil,”.. Go away from it. Not merely take your hands off but yourself off… “seek peace”.. not merely prefer it, but with zeal and care promote it.”
When I see arrogance in the pulpit its because of “Guile” in a man’s soul. When I see rage in the pulpit and pastors getting ticked off with members and correcting them unnecessarily in public, its because of anger in the soul that they have contacted and contracted from the world. A spirit has got on them, a spirit of “guile” and they know it not. Preacher, don’t being your demons to church.
Guile is a contractual disease. As a young revival preacher in America in the nineties, my friend who is my Pastor in US told me “Paul, there are men who when they come to America go to certain cities and leave as a different person. There are spirits in cities that as younger them that spirit there, enters you. You can go to Philadelphia or California and go home different. I’ve seen preachers who go to America the next minute they are in UK making up multiple offerings that let for twenty minutes, “We need ten people to give one thousand pound we need ten people to give five hundred.. ” they are “beguiled” by wandering spirits, easily seduced and swayed by glitz and the gold and some the girls too.
Who has “beguiled” you? said Paul, “bewitched” you, “put a spell on you!” (Gal 3:1) Beware of seducing spirits that reside in uncommon places that attract your soul even when you have Godly intentions in it. As men and missionaries we must go with pure intentions not intentions that suggest we go there for personal gain. If you are going to going a foreign country, go there for God! Yes God, not for gold or glitz, but God.
Jesus saw Nathaniel under a fig tree, not a city, as I wondered what then is the significance of the fig tree? Remember that when Adam and Eve sinned, they used the leaves of the fig tree to cover up their nakedness (Gen 3:7). Just like men who used the ministry to cover up theirs. But Nathaniel was found by Jesus by the fig tree. God help us to be found by the fig tree. I need that covering, I need don’t you! God find me in that place where I realise that I’m exposed without your covering, fnd me at the fig tree.
In him was no guile!
My final point, I judge myself in this. God has been showing me that “public performance is no cover up for a mind that is far from God.” Let me explain. I noticed that over a few weeks I began to think more and more on my troubles when we were in praise and worship. God got my attention when I realised that God knew my heart and that although I had lifted hands and sang the words of the songs, my problems and not God was the thing that was really on my mind. Yes “guile” was at work in me. I repented and decided to worship God with my mind as wells my soul. Now i’m enjoying church better. I go to church for one thing to worship him, If I’m preaching its to exalt him. Self can’t live in pew or pulpit. self must die!
PRAY WITH ME: What was said about Nathaniel Lord, I would love to hear you say that about me. “In him was no guile” Create in me a clean heart Lord and renew a right spirit within me!”
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