by Dr. Charles Stanley
Balance in Life's Battles
Disciples John and Peter, as well as the apostle Paul, warned believers to shield themselves from false teachers. The words they wrote 2,000 years ago carry the same relevancy — and the same warning — today. From Paul we hear, "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1). Cults and false religions draw in many new converts each year, some of them former church members. Peter warns, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1). Even within the church body are false teachers who seek to draw parishioners toward their own unbiblical view of God and salvation.
The truth is, we will never eradicate all the false doctrines and demonic influences that pervade our world. Believers, then, must learn to live as salt and light in their culture. That means choosing a balanced spiritual life rather than extremes of fleshly pursuit or religious legalism.
To live in balance, we must be able to discern truth from error. Most deceptive philosophies are mixed with just enough truth to seem plausible. Consequently, what we hear needs to be sifted through a tough mental grid formed by way of prayer and meditation on the Word. If a believer is not scripturally grounded, he can easily be swayed by phony doctrines that appeal to the emotions and flesh.