A lesson in deception

I learned a hard lesson this fall on the importance of listening to the Spirit, no matter how much it conflicts with what I want.

Last year I received an extraordinary blessing from a close friend and spiritual mentor.  It was comforting in many ways and promised future blessings I would receive.  I thought this friend was a spiritual giant, so I was extremely confused when I did not feel the Spirit present at all during the blessing.  I brushed it off by rationalizing that I must not have been spiritually sensitive enough to feel the Spirit during that extraordinary experience.  I trusted this friend and desperately wanted the promised blessings to be true.

It wasn't till this fall that I learned this friend was not who I thought he was, and I could finally face the truth I had been avoiding head-on: this blessing was a fake. I don't know if he made it up to manipulate me, if he thought it was real due to some kind of mental illness, or if he was just tapping into an ungodly source.

I listened to the recording I had made of the blessing.  No Spirit.

I read the transcription of the blessing.  No Spirit.

I played the recording and showed the transcript to someone else who agreed: no Spirit.

Then I listened to the recording of a blessing someone else not as "spiritually advanced" had given me.  Instant Spirit.

I had been deceived.  I hadn't trusted my own feelings as I should have.  I let my trust in this person override what I knew deep down every time I read it: this blessing was a fake.

Lessons learned:

1. Always, always listen to the Spirit (or lack thereof).
2. Don't assume something is true just because someone I consider more "spiritually advanced" than me says it.
3. The only one I can really trust is Jesus.