2 Corinthians 1:21,22 “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

     I have heard it said; “Find someone you can trust. Ask them what to do then do what you’re told.”  Initially this seems like good advice.  However it can open the door to the most terrible emotional and spiritual abuse.  Vulnerable people are desperately searching for relief from their situation and a way out of the trouble they are in.  If someone comes along and convinces them that they (and no one else) have all the answers and they gain trust then they have virtually complete control over the vulnerable person.  Sadly this danger is ever present in our world, we must be vigilant; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

     If we add a lack of choice to the vulnerable person’s situation such as legal problems or broken relationships with family and friends so that  dire consequences are always looming we have a ‘perfect storm’ of isolation and dependence that provide a hellish foundation for exploitation.  The Bible warns us that such ‘false’ ministers will come along; “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

     When someone insists that sudden and swift destruction will befall a person under their control if they refuse to do everything and exactly what they are told then you have spiritual and emotional abuse.  Wolves in sheep’s clothing will equate their will with God’s will.  Once they have done this they will put their will first over God’s.  The Bible does tells us that sudden destruction can befall people.  The swift destruction on false prophets referred to earlier is an example (2 Peter 2:1-3).  A proverb tells us that after a long process of trying to help a person see reason, that person if they continue in their stubbornness will come to a bad end; “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”  (Proverb 29:1)

     Jesus also tells us that we all need to tend to our own spiritual condition.  No one is any better than anyone else; ” . . ., but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?”  (Luke 13:3,4)  In a broken hard world bad things can happen suddenly and we all have to be right with God if we are suddenly overtaken by a disaster.

     The Gospel Good News tells us that there is someone you can trust.  There is someone you can ask what to do.  And if you do as He tells you,  you will overcome in this life.  His name is Jesus! Jesus tells us clearly; “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)  Jesus won’t abuse you.  Jesus won’t exploit you.  Jesus won’t doom you!

     Jesus calls us; “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.…”  (Matthew 11:28,29)

     Praise the Lord!

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