The Problem with Deception

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Only when we carry truth revealed in a personal relationship with God do we find the understanding that guards us from deception.

“Take heed that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4 NKJV

The phrase “the last days” is frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is quite possible these days will prove to be the most exciting and frightening time in the history of mankind. It’s exciting because we stand to witness the greatest revelation of God’s glory any generation has yet to experience, which will be accompanied by an unimaginable harvest of souls. But it also inspires holy fear, because the apostle Paul explicitly tells us: “There will be terrible times in the last days.” (2 Timothy 3:1 NIV)

Prior to this statement, Paul says, “But mark this.” In other words, “Make careful note of what I am about to write. Highlight and underline it in your mind!” He then expounded on this coming trouble in detail. The reason for the terrible times would not be persecution from the government or atheists but instead would stem from widespread deception within the church.

Deception is a scary thing. Why? Because it is deceiving! A person who is deceived believes with all his heart that he is right, when in reality he is wrong. Jesus repeatedly warned against deception in the gospels. In fact, when His disciples asked about His return, the first words out of His mouth were the Matthew 24:4 warning above. It is easy to sense the urgency in these words. Jesus wanted them imprinted on the disciples’ souls and kept ever before them. His words have stood for thousands of years, and we would be wise not to neglect His counsel.

Revealed, not communicated, knowledge is our greatest guard against deception. Many only have knowledge of Scripture that was gained secondhand from parents, preachers, podcasts, or books. They have yet to seek and know God Himself and discover His heart in the matter. Only when we carry truth revealed in personal relationship with God do we find the understanding that guards us from deception.

The good news is it’s never too late to begin a life-transforming walk with God, one based on revelation and not just secondhand knowledge. As you become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit within you, He’ll guard you from the traps of deception. You will walk with the confidence of not merely knowing about God but truly knowing His heart.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s character and nature to you this week. Get into God’s Word and spend time in His presence. Invite Him to expose any deceptive lies that have taken root in your thinking. Submit yourself to God’s wisdom and let Him fill you with the knowledge of His will and ways.

Adapted from Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority (Thomas Nelson, 2001).

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