LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, February 9, 2023

If you are following along in Second Peter verse by verse, don’t be alarmed: you haven’t been in a coma. I skipped a few verses to continue the study of false teachers. We’ll come back to the ones we jumped over.

The next two attributes that we need to recognize in those “religious” leaders who speak the language and gather large followings but are doing it for the wrong reasons are these –

  • they are motivated by the gratification of the flesh and…
  • they attempt to enhance their own status and authority by disrespecting true authority.

2 Peter 2:10 (NIV)  “This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.”

As always, we need to personally check our own hearts on these issues before we even begin to point the finger at others.

The news is consistently reporting the activity of religious people who have been caught in the corruption of sexual sin. They seem to get their own warped sense of fulfillment from tearing down the lives of those who are already being beaten up by the real enemy of our souls. But that does not diminish the fact that each one of us is responsible before God for our moral purity. Those who claim to proclaim the Gospel are even more accountable.

From my perspective, and I humbly say from my experience, moral failures start with an unresolved need for emotional attachment and approval. I have talked to many men and women over the years who have been trapped in the bondage of sexual perversions of all kinds. As we whittle away the layers of excuses and justifications, it usually comes down to an admission of the need to be accepted and approved by someone. This HUGE need we all have is the result of the sin nature within us which destroyed our ability to see the image of God in which we were created. We don’t know who we are apart from Christ.

However, even after we come to Christ, this sin nature still exists, and for many of us it still holds us captive to its desires. The emotional bondage of being rejected or constantly criticized as a child is powerful. The bondage of being convinced that one’s worth and value is only earned through performance is debilitating. We all experience it to one degree or another.

The words of Peter are important to look at carefully if we are ever going to experience the victory of Jesus Christ over the desires of the flesh. Most importantly he calls such desires corrupt. We have convinced ourselves they are not. In fact, we even call them necessary for fulfillment. That is the great deception of Satan. Remember how he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden? He said that God was holding out on her, and that she could have more if she opened her mind to the knowledge of good and evil both. Same lie. Different era.

The desire to satisfy the flesh – through sex, prestige, or power – is corrupt. We must face that fact, admit that it is true, and confess that we are guilty of it. We must come into agreement with God about our flesh if we are going to experience His victory over it. For most of us we do that in the “big” things. But it’s those small nagging desires for approval and acceptance that continue to motivate our choices and behaviors. It’s time to resolve them. We must stand in the authority of our relationship with Jesus and not succumb to the abuse of reasoning with the enemy. 

The way I remind myself of my standing with Jesus is to quote Colossians 1:10-14 over and over in my mind. They are the verses God led me to as I started the still ongoing journey of victory. They may help you…

“Live worthy of the Lord and…please him in every way: bear fruit in every good work, grow in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Pastor John

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