Have you ever been duped? Where someone has pulled the rug out from under you, and you didn’t even realize it? After you finally were able to see the truth of this lie, you recall the signs that called attention to its red flags that you dismissed because you were so bamboozled! There is much at work that assists the deception process and if we are not on our toes, we will quickly become victim to those who make it their daily profession to lie and deceive. Some (lies) are so blatantly obvious, yet you still have gullible victims. It is the ones who are skilled liars that are most dangerous because they can lure even the most astute into their web.
Personally, my greatest fear is to be one who is spiritually deceived. I fear this because I know that there is an enemy after our souls who has been around for thousands of years, perfecting his craft to take us down. This enemy has watched me and knows me well. He knows my vulnerability and weaknesses. His task is to be like the beekeeper when he blows smoke upon the bees to dull their sense, so they become more compliant. His skill is to cause us to make decisions that will create and open a crack so he may have greater access to our lives. Deception does not just happen in one moment but is the culmination of choices we make that eventually subdue us into no longer being able to decipher spiritual truth from error, and so we embrace wholeheartedly the false. We are under a demonic spell, of our own doing.
Those who become victims of this most potent host have this in common, they do not take the Word of God in the scriptures severely like one does food to feed them daily and to do what it instructs. They do not establish and nurture a relationship with the Lord nor learn and walk in faithfulness to Him. They view worship as singing songs rather than as a lifestyle.
To be one who will escape from being deceived must lead disciplined lives, much like anyone who wants to become physically healthy and fit. If they do not live lives that are disciplined, they will not obtain the health and strength they desire. In the same way, we, as followers of Christ cannot take a day off or slack anywhere in our walk with Him – because the devil is like a roaring lion who seeks to devour anyone who does!
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; 1 Peter 5:8.
The nature of deception is that it can be 99.9% true, but because it contains only .1% of error, it has polluted all to become a lie.
We are in the age that we have been warned about; 2 Timothy 3, where we have among us a particular (misguided and false) faith that the masses are embracing as the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it is one that Jesus calls ‘the wide way’ in Matt 7:13-14. What is most startling is that these people are genuine and are passionate about what they believe and are well-meaning, kind and decent. They are knowledgable in specific passages of scripture in building their doctrine around. Most if not all cannot be talked out of what they believe and is only by the Spirit of God that the spell may be broken, and so we must vigilantly pray for God to open their eyes so they may hear the truth of His word; 2 Tim 2:23-26.
Here are the characteristics of this (false) faith:
- It majors on the ‘love of God’ – ‘God loves you’ is the gospel message, where the true gospel is about what Jesus Christ has done and accomplished for us.
- It minors on sin and our need to repent and stop continuing in it. When it speaks of sin, it is to explain that we are forgiven of our sins, past and future.
- There is no talk, teaching or living a holy (consecrated) life unto God. They take part and enjoy what the worldly unbelieving do without reservation.
- No fruit and work of the Holy Spirit is evident
- Depression and anxiety are common
- They do not know, nor do they care to see that they must die to Self
We cannot depend on our human intelligence and senses nor by taking what the vast majority of Christendom deems right to escape deception.
We must never underscore the devil who has the ability to take the most sincere and devout believing soul into deception but make it our life’s purpose to follow and obey the Word and His Spirit for it is He that will keep us from this enemy. We are continually warned against falling prey to deception in the scriptures for this very reason. We are told to examine our faith to see if we are of the (true) faith; 2 Cor 13:5. We must understand the difference between walking in the lusts of our flesh and the power of the Spirit; Gal 5:16-26, and know that where we sow will determine what we will reap; into the flesh – death and corruption and into the Spirit, everlasting life; Gal 6:7-10.
We as the Body of Christ, need each other in keeping watch in guarding each other against the spirit of deception from entering our ranks; Titus 2. We must sound the alarm, teach the truth and walk-in love for one another as we live blameless lives to witness and testify of the One we profess to love and follow – amen.