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“Deception is a lie wearing a tuxedo in disguise.”

Elmer Murdoch

Deception began in the Garden of Eden. Disguised as a serpent, Satan deceived Eve. He mixed in a little truth with his lies and misled her. Eve listened, believed and acted on Satan’s lie. Deception gave birth to sin and all of our troubles began from that first act of deception.

While reading I Kings chapter thirteen, I was gripped with the fear of the Lord to not want to be deceived by the enemy. In this passage a prophet obeys God by confronting the wicked King Jeroboam. Later on though the prophet is deceived by the words from another prophet which causes him to disobey God. I was struck with the thought that anyone can be deceived and even those who are close to God are not exempt. How can one who clearly hears and obeys God’s words, then be lied to and believe the lie, resulting in disobedience?

The Apostle Paul warns us of deception in II Corinthians 11:3. “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpents cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Being deceived leads us away from God and towards Satan’s path of destruction.

Deception is like bad breath-you don’t realize you’re being deceived even though others may know. The very nature of deception makes it difficult to detect because we are blinded to it. How then can we protect ourselves from deception?

My immediate response to I Kings 13 was to petition the Lord for His protection from deception. I asked Him to help me to always hear His voice above all other voices and His truth above all lies, so that I may follow only Him and obey Him completely.

Deception is a heart issue. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” The prophet Obadiah said, “The pride of your heart has deceived you.” (Obadiah 1:3a) If it’s pride that can lead us into deception, then it’s humility that will safeguard us from it. Not allowing selfish ambition to rule and reign within our hearts, but choosing instead to humbly follow God’s agenda, may prevent us from being tricked by the enemy.

John Bevere says, “An offended heart is the breeding ground of deception.” Another way to guard our hearts from being deceived is to keep short accounts and forgive those who have hurt us. The sooner we forgive our offender, the better. When we harbor unforgiveness it’s as if we’ve opened the door of our heart to the enemy, inviting him in to deceive us. Purity of heart and guilelessness protects us from the scheme of the enemy.

Knowing yourself and your tendencies toward specific weaknesses can help you stay clear of the enemy’s traps. If you have to rationalize to give yourself permission to do something, then chances are it’s not something God wants you to do. Having pure motives and submitting to God’s will keeps our ears open to hearing God’s voice above all others.

Prayer, humility, forgiveness and purity of heart will keep us listening and obeying God instead of falling for Satan’s deception.

“Satan has used deception to win our affections, influence our choices, and destroy our lives.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Relevant Reflections:

1. How has pride caused you to be deceived?

2. Who has offended you that you need to forgive?

3. Write out a prayer to God asking Him to protect you from the enemy’s deception.

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