It’s happened to most of us. You suddenly feel your muscles ache, fever, stomach ache and nausea…you have FOOD POISONING. Something you ate, something that was supposed to nourish you made you sick. Something that was supposed to give you strength made you weak, something that was supposed to help your body…hurt it.
Sometimes something can look delicious, smell delicious and taste delicious and still be deadly. Salmonella, Botulism, Listeria are just a few are bacteria that make good food toxic. They infect what’s good….You have fever, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea because your body is trying to get rid of it. Your muscles ache making you weak and unfit for work.
The same is true with the WORD OF GOD.
1 Peter 2:2 (ESV)
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
Romans 10:17 (ESV)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
Demons are like spiritual bacteria that want to infect you and the Body of Christ. Their goal is to deceive and pervert the teaching and preaching of God’s word. They influence the ‘message’ to come from flesh instead of spirit. They want to infect the word so that it’s carnal instead of spiritual…and it can be very subtle:
For example, many people have learned to give selfishly. They have been taught ONLY to give so they can receive a blessing. Not, out of love…Not, out of obedience…Not, out of concern for others…but so they can be blessed. Give so you can get! Yes, God is willing to pour out blessings that we don’t have room to receive, but if that’s the only reason we give, that reducing giving to a ‘blessing bill”.
Be careful when the word of God is cloaked in carnality, sometimes it’s unintentional – but most of the time it isn’t. Watch out when the message contains…
Too much prosperity
Too much condemnation
Too little bible
Too much personal opinion
Too much tradition of man
Blasphemy (Some preachers actually want you to worship them, or yourselves)
Or, when it elicits emotions from flesh…for example, if it makes excuse for or justifies sin or causes you to take pride in the way you used to be. I have heard preachers say, “I haven’t been saved all my life” in an arrogant way that eludes to the fact that they can revert back to their old behavior, or in other words, ‘let the old become new again’
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We have to read and study God’s word for ourselves and pray for discernment, so we can intelligently and responsibly listen to the word of God. Just like food poisoning, it can be disguised in eloquent words, charisma, elaborate presentation, engaging personality etc. It can sound good, look good and make you feel good, but it’s got to be in line with the bible and not twisted to fit a human agenda.
Spiritual food poisoning makes the Christian and Body of Christ weak, ineffective, unproductive and unfit for Kingdom work. It makes the Body of Christ sick. It actually does more harm than good…and it takes place in church.
The old adage that you are what you eat is true. It doesn’t just apply to allowing worldly influences to enter your spirit…but just as the bible says that the devil disguises himself as an angle of light…
2 Corinthians 11:14 (ESV)
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
The enemy doesn’t mind you going to church or hearing the word, as long as he can come along and twist it….infect it and poison your spiritual food.