Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14
I love mystery-thriller stories. Especially if they use cutting edge technology or odd theories or the makings of science fiction. My entertainment reading right now is Deception Point by Dan Brown, and it definitely fits the bill for the kind of reading I enjoy. I love it because it is a fast-paced read, the stay-up-until-2:00a.m.-reading kind. As with all these types, deception is key to the plot.
As I reluctantly put the book aside last night at 10:00p.m – it was not a stay up until all hours kind of night – I mulled over the deception going on in the story. My mind began to make connections and quickly turned to the spiritual realm.
We have a spiritual enemy who is a deceiver. Deception is Satan’s game. We must be vigilant to guard against his trickery. He is cunning. The deceiver has been working on people from the very beginning of time.
3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. … 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Corinthians 11:3, 14-15
So what do we need to know and to do in order to be aware and protect ourselves against His subterfuge?
- Realize that all lies and deception are from Satan. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 NASB. From the tiniest white lie to the grand plots of evading and distorting by businesses or governments, all come from the father of lies.
- Deception is untrue. Lies aren’t the only untruth. According to merriam-webster.com, deception is by definition, “causing someone to accept as true or valid that which is false or invalid.” Just because I believe you are a good person does not make it true. We have probably all been duped by a card trick, a magician, a kind door-to-door salesman or worse, a person posing as a friend. “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.” Rom 1:25
- God does not use deception or trickery of any sort in His dealings with mankind. God’s character is based on truth. John 3:33 NASB tells us that God is true. It states, “ He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true.”
- Anything less than truth takes us prisoner. John 8:31-32 tells us, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If we are in need of being set free, then that means we are being held prisoner, in our hearts and minds at least. Through deception our enemy seeks to hold us captive and make us fearful, unloving, and unbelieving of God’s word.
- The only thing that can release us from the mental captivity of deceit is the truth. God’s truth, not someone’s perception of what they say is “true for me.” “Personal truth” is not truth. We can believe anything we choose, but that does not make it true. I can be mad at my husband and think he is horrible in the moment, but he’s not. My perspective is skewed. Thinking that God doesn’t love me because of my sin may feel true in the moment as well, but it is not. God never quits loving His creations. Claiming a personal truth that is contrary to scripture is a clear sign that we have been deceived.
- God’s Word is the source of all truth. Paul’s letter in 2 Timothy 2:15 makes it clear that God’s Word is the source of truth. Paul challenges Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Stay in the Word.
- We are to be shrewd and aware and discerning, alert to Satan’s tricks. In speaking to His followers in Matthew 10:16, Jesus said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
- We need to pray and seek God’s wisdom in dealing with deception. Psalm 25:5 says, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
With any deception we face, we can be sure that it comes from the enemy of our souls. When we are faced with lies and half-truths in our business or personal dealings, beware! That situation is being manipulated by the cunning of our spiritual adversary. When two different news networks have two different takes on the same story, beware! That situation is being manipulated by the cunning of our spiritual adversary. When you can’t get a straight answer from your teen and your heart tells you something is amiss, beware! That situation is being manipulated by the cunning of our spiritual adversary.
- Go to the Word.
- Drop to your knees.
- Ask your Father to reveal what is hidden.
“Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,… It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.” Daniel 2:20-22
Only Our Creator God can give us 20/20 vision in matters where we are being deceived. Seek Him. He will bring light to the murky, gray darkness of any situation.