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“Then if any man shall say unto you, lo here is Christ, or there;
believe it not.”

Matthew 24:23

The dictionary defines faith as “unquestioning belief that
does not require proof or evidence.” Or to put it more simply, faith is
believing in something you cannot see.

In that sense, all faith is “blind faith.”

The problem is that this is literally true. By this I mean that many
of the people who call themselves “believers” are in fact, truly blind.

I think that the key ingredient, the single most important tool in
your arsenal, when one is engaged in spiritual warfare, is discernment
– the ability to tell the false from the true. Indeed, discernment is
the most important thing in your life — whether it’s knowing if you
should believe that used car salesman or that televangelist. Today,
without a healthy, vital sense of discernment … you’re sunk. You’re
prey to the wolves.

It might seem as if discernment and belief are diametrically opposed,
but in fact this is not so. They are a piece of the same “stuff,” if you
will. However, faith that is not borne out of discernment is not only
blind, it is worthless. And I’m here to say that blind faith is what
most people who refer to themselves as believers — whether their
belief is in the Koran, the Bible, the B’hagavad Gita or in UFO’s — are
engaged in.

Beware of the man who calls himself a believer! Turn and run from the
man who says, “I know,” and “You do not know.”

What happens when you question someone’s belief system? Inevitably,
that person will begin to quote from whatever his or her particular
“sacred” book is. When you inform them that quoting sacred doctrines is
simply not good enough, inevitably they will attempt to support their
beliefs with a series of arguments. But if you listen closely, these
supportive arguments will inevitably be circular in nature. In other
words, the person’s argument will come down to, “You must believe,
because it is so.”

If you push the person far enough, he will wind up becoming angry and
defensive. The closer he gets to the precipice — the place where he can
no longer support his belief system — the more agitated and frightened
he will get.

What is it that takes place when you question someone’s belief
system? Simple. What is happening is that you are threatening that
person’s very identity — because without
your beliefs, you are nothing. You are your beliefs and ideas.
There is no such thing as a separate you. Look at it, and you
will see this for yourself.

So what does all this mean? Simply this. That unless you are willing
to stand on the edge of that precipice — and literally (not
figuratively) jump off … unless you are willing to let go of all your
beliefs and ideas then your beliefs are worthless. This is the beginning
of true discernment.

You see, if we actually face life as it is, in this (spiritually)
polluted, world of ours, we must walk into the fire everyday. We must
question not only everything that comes our way, but the very core of
our own ideas, each and every day. We must never remain secure in
saying “I know.” If we do, we will soon get fat and lazy. Rather, we
must hone our discernment to such a razor-sharp point that the moment
evil gets anywhere near us — we will immediately recognize it. When you
are sharp, spiritually fit, you can smell evil. And when it gets
near you, you don’t need to ask what to do about it. You just act. If
your house is on fire, you don’t sit there and have discussion with your
wife or husband about what to do, you get the hell out of there! If a
madman breaks into your house and is about to murder you and your
family, what do you do? You don’t stand there and ask what to do. You
pick up the nearest weapon and you kill the sucker!

Well, I have news for you. Your house is on fire. The madman is at
your door. Right now.

Take a look! Everything is caving in around you! You may be young and
have a long life ahead of you, or you may be at the end of things,
trapped in some hospital bed with tubes shoved up your nose — I don’t
care. This petty little life of yours is over in a second. Poof! You’re
history, friend. A few years on either side don’t make much difference
once you grasp the larger picture.

These are evil times we live in. You may think you have a best
friend; tomorrow that guy may betray you, he may cut your throat. You
can’t trust anybody! Think I sound paranoid? Frankly, I don’t care
what you think. I’m just saying, look around … and see if what
I’m saying isn’t true.

Today, evil doesn’t even bother to disguise itself anymore … it
comes at you every day and says, “Hello (brother). I want to suck your
soul dry, I want to pull out your heart. …”

Do you really think that you can defend yourself against evil by
standing there and uttering some phrase or quote! Do you think you can
do battle against these powers and principalities if you haven’t honed
yourself in the fire. Get real, man! You’re are going to get your ass
whipped! You’re going down brother.

I’m sorry if this sounds cruel or unkind. I’m sorry if this sounds
alarmist. But I told you when I began this
column

that I wasn’t taking any prisoners. Spiritual warfare is not a game.
It’s not funny. Moreover, it’s not a part-time gig. You either better be
ready to stand up and be counted, or you’re going to lose this battle.
Sorry, that’s the way it is.

So what do I do, you ask? Well, you start by asking the Lord for
discernment. Discernment has nothing to do with education or knowledge.
Forget all that stuff! And when you ask for discernment, you better be
willing to jump off that precipice — to give up every last one of your
beliefs and ideas — to die to all that — before God hands that
precious gift over to you. You have to pay the price, and the terrible
thing is, most of us are not willing to do so. Your faith, your beliefs
are built on a foundation of sand.

Today, as we stand on the brink of chaos, on the collapse of
everything that is good, moral, and right, we can no longer afford to
indulge in cheap faith. Which is what most of us have. Real faith, real
belief comes at a price. Sometimes that price may be your very life.

So, as I close this column, my challenge to each of you is to find
out if you’re really willing to give up … to jump off the edge … to
die to yourself and everything that you hold dear.

Please, don’t be so quick to argue, or to reply with some pat answer.

Just be quiet and look. Ask yourself this question in the solitude of
your own hearts.

For those of you who still want to take this ride, I’ll see you back
here next week.

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