I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders. Psalm 26:4
Much of who we are and will become is defined by those we choose to be around.
Unfortunately, many times (especially online), we may not realize who we’ve been holding hands with until it’s too late. It is paramount that we assess our lives based on this statement by the Psalmist. With whom do you associate and identify, and how certain are you about those you may support and be going along with?
From this verse, we see how personal and serious our dealings with others in life really are. For we’re not merely connecting with objective political and Biblical ideology, but with the actual behavior and character of those we may follow or may even end up defending. When it comes down to it, it isn’t just their platform or doctrine we are supporting, but the man himself. If you do not agree, just let someone you have lifted up so very high, suddenly fall or be exposed. Do not discover this the hard way.
In a world where the influence of entertainers continues to increase more and more, we find ourselves living in an age of pretenders.
Is it possible that the ones who end up making political statements, especially those who end up running for office, are still just playing a role on a much bigger stage? Of course. No matter the venue, the main objective of acting is to effectively pretend to be whoever your director wants you to portray. Could it be that Broadway, Hollywood, and so on, are just the ‘minor league’ in preparation for the ‘major league’ of Washington DC? One is willfully blind not to see it, since a number of entertainers have held office, including the world’s highest office as President of the United States.
To be men of integrity who follow Christ, we can no longer depend on the deceitful ways of politics. For even what most of our people perceive as Christianity today has become nothing more than another stage full of campaigning pretenders. We must be resolved like David and proclaim: “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders.”
A side effect of living in an age of pretenders is the way leaders are being measured based upon the facts they know intellectually, as opposed to the facts of their own character and behavior.
We must stop falling for those who have manufactured an image for themselves that is not true, especially those who are teachers of Scripture. Do not be misled by someone who is concealing his own bad character and behavior, just because he may know more things from the Bible than you. Be jealous enough for the glory of God to hold them accountable.
In this verse, to “sit” and “go along” with someone is to be in fellowship and participation with them – ranging from having a meal with them to going into battle together.
Consider closely those you have joined ranks with. Could it be you are unknowingly supporting or having fellowship with a deceitful pretender? With much discourse in the Name of Christ occurring over the internet, it is a necessity to be sure those we are sitting and going along with are truly who they present themselves to be. Internet preachers should expect scrutiny, since we claim to be representatives of God Almighty and His Word.
Those teachers who present themselves as knowing more than everyone else, but feel they should not be questioned or held accountable, do not understand their office. The Bible teaches us that the more one has, the more that is required of him. Don’t be fooled by those who arrogantly think that just because they teach the Bible, they can somehow live mysteriously by a different set of rules. For there will come a time when all things hidden will be exposed.
Ultimately, God will not allow His Word to be misrepresented by pretenders and for His Name to be deceitfully dragged through the mud.
Pretenders are always afraid of being exposed, therefore acting differently around different people. Recognizing how they must suddenly cause distractions from their ways being found out by falsely accusing others, is a good way to detect a pretender. In most cases, the very ones they accuse have seen them for the pretenders that they are. For the more“deceitful” they are, the more difficult it may be for you to figure them out. The closer you get to them, the more you will suffer when they fall. Communicate with those who have actually been around them and their home.
Don’t be so foolish as to assume that any and all forms of Christianity are not occupied by deceitful pretenders and that following Christ is just some “thinking man’s” game. Christianity is a supernatural way of life which involves respecting and taking care of one another. Entry into the kingdom of God in this life is not intellectually achievable by memorizing facts or deceitfully destroying others. The Spirit of God is truth which abides within us and is comprehended through humility and a hunger for righteousness in our daily lives. Be leery of those who teach God’s Word and never challenge you to discover your own gifts to where you want to rise up and help someone else. Biblical ministry is not merely rattling off what you know but actually meeting people’s needs and trying to help them grow spiritually.
So beware of those who try to make you fear saying the wrong thing as you are trying to learn. Free thinking intimidates pretenders because they feel they must have control and ultimately only want you to conform to them. This level of deceit reeks with fear and the foundation of this type of ministry is to conceal weakness. If you end up getting involved too much or too long with this type of teacher, you must begin ignoring blatant inconsistencies, making you a pretender as well. Our Father’s call is always to be honest and real.
All of us make mistakes from time to time and need help. We then just humbly submit to our brethren for guidance or restoration. However, these types regularly fall out with others, but never will admit any wrongdoing. They just keep lifting themselves higher, while becoming more lowdown to get what they want. The pain and destruction they unleash increases the longer they go. It is uncertain how much misery they will cause and how many lives they will destroy until they are stopped.
Understand, being a deceitful teacher isn’t exclusive to just mishandling Scripture.
This includes being deceitful by mistreating God’s people as well, even those who have helped him the most. Truth is to be handled and delivered with love and care. Nothing should supersede our responsibility to honor God by loving our brothers and sisters, especially when one claims to be a minister of His Gospel. The way a minister treats others reveals who he really is, exposing whether or not what he thinks he knows is actually in his heart. Having an intellectual knowledge, no matter how vast, is not enough. All truth is meant to be put to practice, which is wisdom.
Remember, whatever truth we learn comes from God, regardless of who was the teacher.
No teacher should ever be perceived (in any measure) as the ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom, for there is nothing new under the sun. While any teacher worth anything should be respected and appreciated, he himself nor anyone else should ever see him as owner or author, but a steward and messenger, that’s all. If one is a teacher called of God and thinks it is acceptable not to live according to the Word of God, or to neglect the responsibility of care and leadership among those he teaches, it will not go unnoticed.
When God calls men to leadership and to teach, He expects them to take on all facets of it with grave seriousness, sometimes needing counsel and assistance. Properly answering the call to be a minister is done by both word and example, and is neither a license to lord it over others nor to take advantage of the confidence others have placed in you. It is also not acceptable to neglect an area of one’s ministry brushing it aside as ‘drama’. Those who insist upon telling everyone else what to believe and do, but then refuse to help people deal with problems or differences, are nothing more than pretending hirelings, proving they do not care about the flock of God. Just because someone teaches some good things does not mean they love you, or that they are a true representative of Christ.
There is no excuse for a teacher to not be honest, transparent, and available.
In fact, the more truth one claims to teach, the more accountable he should feel he is to live a godly life. No amount of ‘smoke and mirrors’ is permissible or acceptable from teachers of the Word of God. Pay attention if ‘red flags’, concerning them, keep coming up in your heart.
So when it comes to doing anything in the Name of Christ, check out most carefully those with whom you have taken a seat and know what you are going along with, whether it be a politician, a preacher – anyone. While we should always want to think the best of one another, at the same time we must be willing to take off the “rose-colored glasses” and ask God to give us 20/20 vision when legitimate concerns arise from reliable sources. Be wary of those who periodically, but abruptly push their concocted opinions of others on you, trying to gather bandwagons of destruction. Our feet should never be swift to join in trouble, especially with those who seem to always be the ones pointing the finger.
The #1 priority of deceitful pretenders is at all costs to keep others from recognizing who they really are.
Sparing no expense, they will do anything and use anybody to maintain their facade. Never forget, vengeance belongs to God and He will not be mocked. Do not be deceived – whatever has been sown shall be reaped, and God knows the perfect time to bring awaited harvests to pass.