As a kid it was always fun to use the phrase “Mum said” or “Dad told me” against your siblings to fool them into doing something that Mum definitely did not say and Dad absolutely didn’t tell you.
The best part to this trick was that it would always work; “Mum said it’s my turn on the TV”. The reason this works is due to the authority that comes with a parent’s word. Without validating that word, the sibling believes it’s from their parents and often obeys it.
This little trick was most effective because it’s far easier to fool someone who hasn’t heard the information first-hand or straight from the source, who in that case would be a parent. In the same way, the enemy finds the most joy from deceiving those who struggle to pick up their Bible throughout the week and understand truth straight from the source.
The devil doesn’t test the one with first-hand revelation, he tests the one with second-hand revelation. In the book of Genesis, right before Eve was created The Lord said to Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis chapter 2 verse 16)
As it’s implied, Eve was tempted by the serpent after having no direct revelation herself, and she was easily deceived. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis chapter 3 verse 4-5)
Fight the plight
It seems to be the plight of the current generation that Christian people worship worship music and pastors and churches and movements but don’t know the Word of God themselves. The danger is, of course, making our selves easier targets for the enemy’s deception as it would be much harder to tempt someone who spends time with God regularly.
To illustrate: An appliance won’t work unless it is plugged in to its power source regardless of its potential for fulfilling its purpose. Similarly, we can’t be effective at fulfilling our purpose if we aren’t connected to our source.
If we rely on other forms of revelation (or power) such as pastors, churches, podcasts and social media as our main source, we can’t be effective leaders or have a grounded relationship with God. A second-hand relationship with God is the equivalent of saying you know a celebrity because you’ve read lots about them online.
When Jesus had been resurrected, the disciples told Thomas the good news as he wasn’t there when Jesus had revealed himself to the others, but Thomas wouldn’t believe them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”(John chapter 20 verse 25)
Although his doubt was what made him be remembered as ‘Doubting Thomas’ for the rest of time, his pursuit of first-hand information was admirable. Thomas didn’t want a second-hand revelation, he wanted to see and feel the holes in Jesus hands for himself. It wasn’t enough to hear it from the other disciples.
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html