Act 20:29-30 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; (30) and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
We know that the fundamental motive of Satan is – “I will be like the Most High.” He tempted Jesus to worship him. He usurped God’s Word in the garden. He is the spirit of antichrist, setting himself up in the temple and declaring he is God.
It is not surprising therefore that his diabolic servants do the same. You see it here in Acts 20 when Paul warns the people at Ephesus to be on guard. Right from among themselves savage wolves would arise. And their motive? To draw away the disciples after them. Looking for a following. Looking for worshipers to worship them. They are like their father the devil.
You know that domestic abusers seek power and control. Translate that. Domestic abusers seek to be worshipped. They view themselves as gods. Like Nebuchadnezzar of Daniel’s day, they command the orchestra to play and for their select targets to then bow down in worship. Or else. Victims are still being cast into the fiery furnace for refusing to do so (and Christ still meets us in that furnace).
Narcissists, sociopaths, abusers – they are little gods. They fashion themselves into deities and view themselves as such. Think of Diotrephes in 3 John who “wanted to be first.” Churches are so often infested by these idols and so often end up giving them what is due only to Christ – worship.
So let’s beware. Let’s be wise. When we sense pressure to bow down (and that pressure, as you know, can be very covert and unseen – but felt), we can know that something is very wrong. The Spirit of the Lord always, always, always draws our attention to Christ, never to a man. He leads us to obey Christ and we find, as we do, that Jesus’ yoke is easy. The yoke of a false god is oppressive, always accompanied by threats and fear.
Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.