Have You Been Led Astray?

For the animal or cat lover, knowing the difference between a feral and stray cat is second nature. For those who are not in the “know”, I want to share the primary difference. A feral cat is one that has never had contact with humans or it has been so long ago that the cat’s approach to interacting with humans is a forgotten memory. A stray cat is a cat that has been socialized by humans but has left or lost its home as well as daily human interaction. Stray cats are also referred to as Alley Cats.

What does feral or stray cats have to do with God? As I often say, the natural world has a spiritual parallel or at least an analogy can be drawn to reveal a spiritual truth or reality. In spiritual terms, the feral cat is a person who has never interacted with Christ in terms of Him being Savior and Lord. He has no dependence on God. On the other hand, the stray cat is one who was engaged with Christ, whether as a follower or as one who investigated closely, but has left or lost his pursuit of Christ.

I doubt that John was thinking of feral or stray cats when he wrote our text today,1 John 3. Jesus often drew analogies to communicate a spiritual truth. There are many who inquire of Christ that stray that is to deviate from the direct course, leave the proper place, or go beyond the proper limits, especially without a fixed course or purpose. The notion of a stray cat compared to a Christian being led astray is the impetus to the question Have You Been Led Astray?

Dictionary.com defines astray as being led out of the right way; off the correct or known road, path, or route. Who or what has led you away from God? We should be at least aware of the plan for those pursuing Christ to be led astray. Have You Been Led Astray? This is what John posed in our text today. Let’s go there. 

1 John 3

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin,because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

John was acutely aware of the attacks on the follower of Christ’s mind. For those theologians, we know John was talking about antinomianism. For all others, John was proving that followers of Christ observe “The Law” i.e. Commandments and other directives via text by simply saying “The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” John was reminding the believer of the truth we see in Hebrews 2 where the writer states “14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” The primary point is that Christ, by His incarnation, death and resurrection, absolved satan’s power of the follower of Christ. As Titus 2 tells us, the grace of God through Christ Jesus “teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”

Since we have power to say no to sin through Christ Jesus, the true follower of Christ will not continue on in sin. Does that mean he/she will be perfect? No; however, there will be an ever-increasing obedience to Christ and victory over sins he/she struggles with on a daily basis. If we have such power, how is that John asked Have You Been Led Astray? There are certain habits that the believer must be continually engaged in order not to be led astray.

The Holy Spirit
Of the Holy Spirit, Jesus told us in John 14 that 26… the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The Word of God
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
    let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9-11 ESV

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

The Fellowship of the Believer
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread.. Acts 2:42
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Have You Been Led Astray? For the follower of Christ to answer that question in the negative, he/she must not stray from the practices of surrendering to following the Holy Spirit, not fail to memorize, meditate, and study the Word of God, and not forsake meeting with fellow followers of Christ to encourage one another in our journey.  If you are not actively involved in those activities along with praying, you are subject to being led astray. Watch yourself and your life closely.


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