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Rev. Dr. David May ThD.

Deception

  • Deception is not a topic to take lightly, brush over, or disregard. The Lord gives warnings throughout the Bible to be watchful of deception. Not just from the enemy, but also from those within the church forsaking truth, and those who’ve linked arms with the enemy to lead people into the detriments of sin. 

    Over the last few years, we’ve watched falsehood, deceit, and the enemy’s schemes spread like wildfire all while trying to unravel our churches from the inside out. My prayer behind this devotional is that your eyes will be opened to the importance of understanding what God says about deception, that you’ll see places in Scripture that confirm the commands to stand firm and to hold our positions against evil. We’ll go through the call to take up the armor against such deception and to hold all things up to the Word of God, to know the foundation of our faith offered through Christ, and lastly that you will feel equipped and emboldened to stand firm in your faith against deception. 

    "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58

    Day 1: Stand Firm on the Foundation of Our Faith

    We are finding ourselves in a very rocky generation. A generation of people that seem to be easily tossed to and fro. A generation that appears to be deluded by the persuasiveness of the world and has decided to choose their fleshly feelings over the unchanging truth of God and His Word. 

    You might be asking, “How did we get here? How have so many people turned so far from the truth?” Personally, I deeply believe it’s because people stopped being reminded and pointed to the love and knowledge we are to have for God, His Word, and His commands over our life. 

    Day by day truth becomes more countercultural, repulsive, and undesirable to a world that rejects any sort of authoritative truth. It continues to be deluded by the world and unfortunately is paired up with the movement of “feeling-led-faith”. We in Christ can no longer sit back and let the truth of His Word be muddied and we must praise God this watered-down truth hasn’t taken over us. We in Christ must pull up our bootstraps and face this deception head-on. We must dig our heels into what God says about the shackling sin of deception, learn how He commands us to safeguard our hearts, and how we can stand firm while pointing others away from this deceit going on all around us.

    I wanted to start this devotional by revisiting the truth of our foundation. The substance behind why the world cannot delude or defile the incredible gift of faith we have through Christ!

    We’re going to start with Paul’s letter he wrote to the church of Colossae. We see here that he boldly made it a point to address why the church needed to have a firm foundation, understanding, and to have “knowledge of the mystery of God, which is Christ” (Col 2:2)” So that no one will delude you with persuasive argument” Colossians 2:4.

    Paul knew there would be people, not only in his day but in our day too, that would seek to delude the truth and lead those who claim Christ astray. He knew these deceivers would have persuasive arguments; ones that would entice the sinful desires of our flesh, or cause those who aren't firm in their faith to stumble.

    We see from this letter alone, a firm warning from Paul to know what you believe and why you believe it. “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” Colossians 2:8.

    To stand firm in truth, we must know the truth for ourselves. It can’t just be taught from afar but must be implanted in our hearts through our pursuit of what God’s Word says. Then, once we know the truth of God’s Word for ourselves, we must love it, honor it, and desire to obey what it commands of us. Through this pursuit of God’s heart for truth, we see the beauty of the gospel, His desires for us, and have the ability to stand firm in Christ while fighting against the deception of the world. 

     

    Scripture Reading

    Colossians 2:6-15 esv

    Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

     

    Prayer Prompt

    Lord, as I begin to study your word and seek Your heart in standing firm against deception, I pray that I will lean into the conviction You place on my heart. Father, reveal to me my blind spots and soft spots that I’ve allowed the world to influence. Lord, thank you for sending Your son to take my place so that I could be made right with You. In Jesus’s name, amen.  

     

    Day 2: The Deception of the Enemy and Protecting Your Heart

    The “deception of the enemy” is a topic we, as believers, must tackle. This topic seems to be one that many believers prefer to avoid at all costs. Whether driven by fear or false hope, perhaps they think if they don’t seek to study the enemy’s deception, then perhaps it won't be something that affects them. 

    What I can tell you, is that will not be the case. If you live for Christ, the enemy will strike. He comes to do three things: to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  The word "deceived" is mentioned 48 times alone throughout Scripture. Clearly, we must seek understanding from the Lord in our desire to be alert to Satan’s tactics. 

    We know we will face these battles and attacks while living in the world. God’s Word makes that undeniable in Ephesians 6:12, “There is a battle going on in the heavenly places and a war waged against us taking place in the unseen.” We also know for Satan to execute his wicked plans he must use deception to lure a person in. An example of deception, and a story that I highly recommend taking time to study, is the life of David. David was the man after God’s own heart, he was anointed King, and the man who also fell deep into the detriments of being deceived. 

    In 2 Samuel 11, we find David being consumed by lustful desires. Instead of turning to God in his weakness and disobedience of the mind, he fell into deception and commits adultery with Bathsheba, being blinded by the lie in the moment that he could go against God’s commands with no repercussions. Not only did this choice wreck his heart in conviction to God, but his lustful deception also led to the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, and the consequential death of the child she and David conceived together in sin. 

    We can see from this example that deception always stems from the enemy’s schemes. In that moment, he banked on the opportunity to steal, kill, and destroy multiple lives through luring David to sin while David’s guard was down. You see, deception is always partnered with a false belief that you are justified in making the sinful choice. Deception in action causes us to disregard the realities of what the sin will cost us, and we all know that sin will cost us something. 

    Here are a few ways to spot deception and safeguard your heart from it:

    • Is what you are believing able to withstand being held up to the Word of God? “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” 1 John 4:1
    • Is what you’re believing based on feeling or based in God’s truth? “ ...By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6
    • Do you feel conviction from the Holy Spirit for what you are partaking in or entertaining? “When the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13

    Ways to safeguard your heart from deception:

    • Seek first the Kingdom of God - if you’re feeling uneasy, go to scripture before anything else! “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
    • Take the time to grow in your knowledge of the Word. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
    • Love and honor God’s truth in your life. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
    • Follow through with the convictions the Holy Spirit stirs up in your heart. “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9

    From these examples in Scripture, we see all the more why we are called to “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). By God’s grace, this is why He has given us His Word. He has equipped us for the deception that will come and the battles we will face. The knowledge of God, love for His Word, and strength we have through Christ will always be more powerful than any deception of the enemy we face! May we always seek the heart of God above all else, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Him, and be ready to stand firm in the truth of what God desires for us.

     

    Scripture Reading 

    Colossians 2:8-12 esv

    8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

     

    Prayer Prompt

    Lord, thank you for the gift of your Word. As I lean into you for understanding about the schemes and deceptions of the devil, build up in me a bold, firm faith. Father, I ask for growth in my obedience and convictions. I pray for the desire to hold everything up to what your Word says. I ask for my eyes to be opened and for me to be attentive to the leading of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’s name, amen. 

4 comments
  • Reverend  Kurt
    Reverend Kurt  we are living in a time of the greatest deceptions of all time. We are experiencing constant spying on every aspect of our lives and deceived about everything else effecting our lives. Morals, ethics and truth have fallen victim to this insidious ti...  more
    Fri at 2:11 PM
  • Reverend  Kurt
    Reverend Kurt Whatever you are exposed to, and think it is true and factual, investigate and seek the truth. for yourself. ,
    Fri at 2:16 PM
  • Gail Dobson
    Gail Dobson Src: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/23975-stand-firm-standing-firm-in-your-faith-against/day/1
    Sat at 5:43 AM - 1 likes this
  • Rev.  Dr. David  May ThD.
    Rev. Dr. David May ThD. Thank you, Gail for The Info, Peace! (F)
    Sat at 6:02 AM