Do Not Be Deceived
Read: Romans 16:10-27
In Romans 16:17-19, Paul warns us about the deception and difficulty we will face throughout our lives. The world is full of people looking to deceive others. Some deceive for personal gain, others just for amusement and pleasure. The Bible calls Satan “The Great Deceiver.” Satan is savvy. He doesn’t try to convince us that the sky is green. Like any good con artist, he uses smooth talk and expert knowledge of human behavior to get us to believe lies about God and ourselves.
Just look at how Satan tempts Eve in Genesis 3:1-7. Satan tells Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” In one short phrase--“Did God really say”--Satan casts just enough doubt to get Eve’s attention. He goes on to tell her that not only will she live, she’s missing out on being like God by not eating the fruit. In the end, Eve eats the fruit, and sin enters the world.
Believing Satan’s lies prevents us from living in the freedom and abundance Jesus died to give us. “It’s just this one time,” Satan tells us, and addiction soon follows. “They’ll never know the difference,” he says, and soon we’re enslaved to keeping a little white lie alive. We believe all kinds of lies--from “God’s got bigger things to deal with” to “You can’t tell God that!”--then wear ourselves thin trying to fix our problems instead of boldly asking God to intervene.
Jesus has already given us the best weapon to combat Satan’s lies: the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says “the Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword.” The Bible is where we gain the wisdom to know what is good. Let us not fall victim to smooth talk and flattery. Instead let us read the Bible and boldly declare the truth.