By Jerry Wiles – In 1976 in Fort Worth, TX I had a life changing conversation with a friend. I can imagine almost everyone has had conversations that have changed their lives. This particular conversation had to do with my background and sharing how I vacillated and lacked direction for several years. It was during a season of my life that I changed schools, changed majors, changed jobs and changed my mind about many things. I lacked clear direction in my early adult years and I tried lots of different things.
After a lengthy conversation with my friend, he made a comment that has come to my mind many times over the years. It was a short, simple statement that has been a significant encouragement to me many times. He said, “You know, there is nothing wasted with the Lord.” Of course, there are many promises in Scripture that would affirm that fact. When we repent of and confess our wrongdoing and bad decisions, God can redeem and restore and use them for His purposes. Thankfully, there are numerous examples in Scripture, and throughout history, of how God intervenes and turns our bad decisions and wrong choices into something good and positive.
During my Air Force and college years in the 1960s and ‘70s I was introduced to a lot of new ideas and different belief systems. Many had a positive influence, the most significant was the spiritual transformation by the Lord Jesus in my life.
It was also a season of being exposed to and involved with other philosophies, such as the success motivation, self-improvement and human potential movements. Those led to related areas of new age, psychic phenomenal and borderline occult activities. One of my college professors introduced me to Transcendental Meditation and gave me a book by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. After a short journey in that movement, the Lord intervened and rescued me.
It is encouraging to realize how God can use contrasts to teach us valuable lessons. Taking the wrong path and making bad decisions is sometimes what the Lord uses to show us His ways and direct our lives. Over the years the Lord has used those experiences to enable us to witness and minister to others engaged in various new age and other unbiblical belief systems. Interestingly, many of those unbiblical belief systems are resurfacing, being repackaged and recycled these days. Sometimes the entry is through things like self-improvement, stress management, some aspects of the martial arts and Eastern mysticism. There seems to be an increasing and widespread deception, and a great need for discernment, regarding these matters.
Safeguards Against Deception
While we are living in a time of many different kinds of crises, chaos, and disasters, it should encourage us to know that God has done some of His most significant work during the most difficult and darkest times and places. In fact, major spiritual awakenings and renewal movements have happened in such times. No matter how deep the deception and darkness, God can intervene and restore. We can have confidence that there is, “Nothing Wasted with the Lord.” He is prepared to use anything and everything for our good and His glory.
A safeguard against being drawn into deception and darkness is being well grounded in Scripture and being part of a fellowship of believers. Everyone has blind spots, and we often need others to help us see them. Years ago, I was part of a men’s group we called a “Blindspot fellowship.” Having trusting relationships can be a major blessing in keeping us on the right track and growing in the Lord. Isolation and biblical illiteracy can have the opposite effect. God’s desire is that we be in a right relationship with Him and each other. As evil influences and deceptions increase in the world, we can trust that God’s grace is greater. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. It’s also a comfort to realize that greater is He who is in us, than he that is in the world. — ASSIST News