Here's a topic we don't see dealt with very often these days, but it's still a major problem. Disillusion is similar to doubt, but with disillusionment, the truth is not only questioned, it is replaced.
Disillusion literally means “to free from illusion; to cause to lose naive faith and trust.” Some popular synonyms include “enlighten, set straight, undeceive.” When you read that, disillusionment sounds like a good thing, but the devil has a way of making good things bad. He seeks to “enlighten” us with the things that we're missing out on by serving God. He connives to “set us straight” on the path that we feel would bring us the most money or the most happiness. His greatest desire is to “cause us to lose faith and trust” in Christ, our Lord and Savior. Yes, disillusionment can be a good thing, but a good thing in the hands of an enemy is dangerous!
For a good example of how the devil uses disillusionment, check out a few commercials on television or advertisements in the newspaper. People are promising the world!
Join this health club, and you're guaranteed to lose 50 lbs. in the first month.
I made $10,000 my first day on the job, and you can too!
Anyone can write a book. . .even if they failed high school English.
Come in today for the greatest sale ever!
Sound familiar? Now, I'm not saying that there aren't legitimate commercials and advertisements out there. I'm just saying that you have to weed through the “junk” in order to find them. Sadly, many people today are in the business of deceiving others. There are those who will do whatever it takes to make a few bucks, even if it means promising something they can never deliver.
Satan's attack with disillusionment is first recorded with the fall of Adam and Eve. When Satan tempted Eve with the fruit from the tree, he first questioned the Word of God. Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
In the blink of an eye, he implements three of his most powerful weapons: doubt, deceit, and disillusionment. He leads Eve to believe that she's been lied to or tricked. He convinces her that there is more to life than just taking care of the garden. He paints a picture that presented Eve as a god, equal to THE GOD.
Unfortunately, Satan's attacks have not ended there. While doing the research for this book, I came across a couple of websites that caught me off-guard. They were sites designed and intended for ex-Christians.
My first thought was How do you become an ex-Christian? I'll admit, I was intrigued, so I went in and looked around. Wow! You talk about some people who are disillusioned! The site was set up to where members could come in and explain why they “left the faith.” Here were some of the top reasons:
I just never fit in at the church. The people weren't friendly.
I didn't feel the desire to serve the Lord.
I found out that God really wasn't loving and caring at all.
Beloved stories of the Bible fall apart under critical scrutiny.
I guess I just don't have enough faith.
As I read through the accounts on these sites, my heart broke. Were these people really saved to begin with, and if so, what happened to cause such great doubt? There were some posts that were written by people who claimed to be Christians for over 40 years. Their reason for “leaving the faith” was that it just didn't make sense anymore and that it was time to face reality. How sad!
I don't know if these people were truly saved or not. Only God can know that. But, if they were, Satan has definitely used something or someone to cause them to deny their faith. They have been disillusioned from the truth. They have been made to believe a lie.
There are many times in our lives when Satan can slip in and start pushing our buttons. Just like Eve, he brings his best weapons. “Does God even care about you?” he whispers. During those times of a lost job, an unsuccessful pregnancy, the loss of a loved one, a fading ministry, it's easy to heed those seeds of doubt the devil plants. Before long, that doubt can turn to disillusionment, and in the end, a complete denial of faith in God.
The key to battling disillusionment can be found in Psalm 73. In verses 1-16, you'll witness a first-class pity party (very similar to the ones we throw from time to time). Listen to the psalmist's complaints:
Ouch! Do you hear the despair? Do you see the uncertainty? I'll admit, I've had times when this was my song as well. Why do the wicked prosper? Why are the unrighteous swimming in pools of money when I can't even afford to pay my bills? I'm trying so hard to serve You. I've gone where You directed. I've done what You commanded. Why am I being punished?
Doesn't it sometimes feel like the whole world is out to get you? That's exactly what Satan wants. He wants us to be so completely overwhelmed that we'll turn anywhere for answers. . .even if those answers are the wrong ones. So, how do we stop that from happening? Look at verse 17 in the same chapter of Psalms.
Wow! That's good. The presence of God can make a big difference. Please understand, God is always present. He is always with us, and He will always be with us. But, we are not always aware of His presence. We need to be. Think about it for a minute. If God, in human form, were sitting here with me right now, do you think I'd be worried about what's going on with the wicked? In the presence of the Almighty Judge, do you think I would be wringing my hands and wondering why life wasn't fair? Chances are, probably not. So, why do we do it now?
We are in the presence of The Mighty God. Why should we be worried about anything? Better yet, why should we question His Word when He's proven Himself to us time and time again?
Being in God's presence is important, but it's also important to be around God's people. We shouldn't meet together for church services because we're required to. We should gather together because we want to and we need to! We need to hear the Gospel presented in word and song. We need to fellowship with other believers. What a joy it is to be able to share our burdens with others, knowing that their prayers are with us. That's what church is all about.
So, if you're facing questions and doubts today, don't fear. Go to the sanctuary! Study the Word and find the answers you've been seeking. Take your burdens, your uncertainties, and your worries. Give them to God and receive His peace in exchange.