The Sophistication of the Devil
I had an encounter with a gentleman who is a Buddhist. He asked me what I do for a living. I told him that I’m a writer, blogger, and that I share how God communicates to us, including through dreams and visions. Most often when I answer this question, they follow up with, “I have dreams all the time,” or they share a specific dream. In like fashion, this young man didn’t hesitate to share his dreams.
He said, “I have a recurring dream where my teeth are falling out and every time this happens, a family member dies. [He emphasized every time.] I don’t know what it means.”
I began to pray and asked God to grant insight to interpret his dream. I listened in one ear to him and the other ear toward God. I was waiting for God to give me the right words. Scripture reminds us “…do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:11-12
I had nothing. But I wanted to say something. The more I tried, the more I stumbled over my words. I asked God to show me how to share the greatest gift of God’s love with him and that’s when God pierced my heart and said, “Stop!” “Witness!” I’m thinking, “isn’t that what I’m trying to do, Lord?” After all, God called me to write and teach on dreams and visions and is this not a great opportunity to do so? I waited for God to tell me more.
His dream was dealing with death. I realized that to operate in my own efforts may have been interpreted by him as no different from a medium who seeks to hear from the dead. Psychics, astrologers, mediums are all detested by God. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 says “And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.”
When I obeyed God’s warning it was then I sensed how God wanted me to witness. I sought to learn what this man believed.
Feeling inadequate I asked, “It’s my understanding that Buddhists believe in seeking their own light. Can you help me understand what this light is? Is Buddha your god?” He responded, “it is true, we pray to Buddha who is a light, but there is a greater light we seek than Buddha and it is part of the universe.”
My friend Sheila enlightened me one day in reference to the Buddhist striving not to have desires. I questioned, “How can one get rid of desires if it is something God designed,” I asked.
Imagine my surprise when he quoted the Bible, “in Matthew 6 Jesus said we cannot serve god and material possessions.” He was saying to me You can’t serve God. And you can’t serve material possessions. He proceeded. “We strive to not desire the things of this world. I don’t want a big house or material things. There is no master, but the light that is greater than Buddha. A form of supreme being that is higher.”
Although his words were technically the same, the meaning was dramatically opposed. Did you catch how he changed the meaning of scripture through a slight grammatical emphasis. He said “can’t serve god and we can’t serve worldly possessions.” In effect, what he was doing is saying “we can’t serve God” but he was avoiding the entire point of this statement by Jesus, which was meant to point us TO serving God alone.
I told him what Jesus actually said in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
After I corrected him regarding scripture he focused on “a supreme being.” It was as though he wanted to say we believe the same thing. Each time he referred to a higher light, supreme being, I followed with, “yes there is a supreme being and it is God Almighty, Creator of the world, who sent his son Jesus to die for our sins.”
I directed him to the word of God and I told him how the chapter he referred to ends. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” We are to seek the God of heaven and Psalm 37:4-5 confirms that God didn’t create us to be without desire, but that our desires should be directed to delight and desire him, Creator, Supreme Being, above all other gods, things and people. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit to him and he will bring it to pass.”
He appeared to have some knowledge and faith in the Word of God, but the Bible warns us of those who: “ say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” James 2:19
At first I didn’t recognize that the enemy was trying to suggest a way to witness to this man (interpret his dream). He caught me unaware and thankfully, God opened my eyes to see that this man had no interest to know what his dream meant. Had I not listened to the still small voice of the Lord, I would have opened my spirit up to false teachings. God is so good that when I listened and shut the door of the enemy, God opened another way to be a light for Jesus. I continue to learn.
This man seeks a light that does not exist. He will continue to strive for something he can never achieve. He is familiar with scripture, but doesn’t know Truth. Like his teeth in the dream, without the bread of Life he will lose his life.
When my appointment was over I thought of the verse in Revelations 13:50-51: “The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
I believe if God had wanted me to share this verse I would have remembered it and known to do so. Instead, this stranger needed to hear that there is only one God, one Light, and his name is Jesus.
God can’t help us remember what we’ve never read. I’m thankful God helped me to share truth because I was familiar with the chapter the man quoted from the Bible. This encounter is a reminder how critical it is to memorize scripture. Something I need to be more diligent in doing.
When I think of this this gentleman, I pray for him.
Thumbnail photo: Johnathan Wilkins: