When I was a young pastor an older man attended our church. He was in the Air Force during the Cold War and part of an aircrew that would fly deep into enemy territory undetected. These flights took place during the early years of radar development. On one mission his aircraft flew into the very heart of the Soviet Union to pick up a spy from a dry lakebed. This mission was flown nap-of-the-earth undetected under existing radar systems of the day. My friend indicated this was not a one-time event. Nations are always testing the defense systems of their adversaries.
Those clandestine flights remind me of our differing levels of spiritual discernment. Early on as we learn to hear the voice of God, we might not hear all we need to hear. We might not realize the enemy has already delivered a lie into our thinking undetected in our immaturity or stubbornness.
Perhaps one of the most important prayers we can pray is a humble admission that we do not see or detect all that is taking place around us, no matter what the issue. We think especially those of us who have been around a while, that we see and know all that is happening. We don’t.
I am always amazed how as followers of Jesus Christ we can look at the same circumstance and interpret two very different realities. Someone missed the truth. In the coming days, many will become aware that deception has penetrated their spiritual border and flown into their thinking to conduct a clandestine operation. Realizing what has happened will be a shock. It will also create a desire to walk in greater discernment before the next incursion takes place.
If you are one whose spiritual radar was functioning and you saw clearly what was taking place, don’t gloat when friends and associates realize their failure. Or, if you are someone who completely missed it, don’t let shame have its way in your thinking. You will have another chance to get it right.
We are all at different levels of spiritual development and discernment. We need to make sure we understand we are in this together. The enemy is not those who failed to see what they so confidently declared did not exist or those who got it right and assumed a superior place of understanding. All of us need to accurately know and define our real and shared spiritual enemy so we can protect the borders of our fellowship and not let our real enemy divide our ranks when the truth is finally known.