UCAN sharing: I see it; no you don’t
Scripture: John 7:44-49
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:16
No wants to find that they have been deceived. Every day people experience deception in many ways. Products are advertised to do something they can’t and we buy them. In relationships one person cheats on another and deceives them. In business deception abounds so that one company can rise above the others. Deception can be described as walking through a maze in the dark and being directed by someone who gives you false directions. You will never reach the end of the maze. You will run into a lot of dead ends and waste a lot of time. In our spiritual life the word of God tells us not to be deceived. The burden of not being tricked is a decision Christian need to make. We actually have no power to resist deception from satan but when we trust in God totally, not using our human reasoning, but asking God to lead us all the time then we can truly know that we are not deceived. Till them many Christians will be deceived and not know it. How terrible it is to be losing your spiritual inheritance and never know it. God loves us and has made it possible for us to walk in the truth, that is Christ but we must chose to do so daily.
Being deceived means that a person has accepted a lie as truth and is walking that lie out. There are hundreds of scams out there that promise a person all kinds of things from romance to quick riches but in the end the person loses. But how does it feel to be deceived? When God who alone has the truth presents it to us and we reject it because to us in our minds it makes no sense we make ourselves accessible to satan. So now a person who has said no to God’s truth for various reasons now has two powerful forces working against them to lead them not to the truth but towards a way that seems right (Prov. 14:12). There are no alarms going off and we may even feel righteous about what we doing. Paul as Saul persecuted and had believers put in prison and even killed because he believed what was false (1 Cor. 15:9). Eve in the Garden of Eden was deceived even though she had everything going for her in a perfect way. She saw that the fruit was good and pleasing and believed that it would make her and Adam better so she took of the forbidden fruit(Gen 3). In all these examples the persons thought they were doing good and getting a great deal but it turned out to be completely the opposite. They were being robbed and dying and had no clue. So what can we learn from all this? Man outside of the guidance of the Holy Spirit is amazingly vulnerable to receiving lies as truth without ever knowing it is happening. Anytime we act independently of God and are carnal in our thoughts (Gal 5:19- 21) we can be almost guaranteed to be deceived. In fact some of you reading this will not believe this message because you are deceived.
A person is so blind when deceived that they are capable of doing anything in the name of their truth. Jesus reached out to the Pharisees many times revealing the truth that they were not living the God’s word in their hearts but rather were wicked (Matt. 23:24-26), yet they repeatedly rejected Jesus. In Jn 7 we find that they have had enough of Jesus and sent people to go get him. Those people heard Jesus and were moved in their hearts (hint here what it takes to be not deceived.). They returned without him and the Pharisees berated them as being deceived. Was Jesus a deceiver? Were the Pharisees right? They held to the law and their knowledge of it. They believed they could be saved by just knowing the law. But the law justifies no one (Gal. 2:16). In fact it works to point out our sin so the Pharisees were deceived. They were deceived because they wanted to be deceived. They loved the things of men more than God. Nicodemus who was a Pharisee came to Jesus and later believed. So those who don’t want to be deceived must seek the truth and that will eventually lead them to Jesus. Many an atheist has try to disprove Christ only to find he is the truth. Until this happens a person is capable of horrible acts, perverse and sinful living in the name of God. Consider cults that use Jesus’ name but are not of him. They make rules that God would never make, according to his word but claim to be right. This is the expression of a deceived person, false religion.
Christianity in its purest essence is about man being fallen and lost but coming in to a deep and personal relationship with God his Creator. And God passing on to man a new life that is free of the darkness that is within us all. But to those who chose not to submit to God as Lord and live under his guidance their minds lead them away from this. We figure our way through life even our Christianity just the Pharisees and so many others. Christians every week go to church but are living separated from God by the pride of their hearts that tells them they can figure out their lives and they can interpret God’s word and gain the wisdom to apply God’s power. Yet the fruit is not present in their lives. They remain selfish and unable to understand or see truth. These are prime candidates for deception. They have eyes but they can’t see or understand (Matt. 13:15). Think about the modern church and how busy she is but fails to create people who live like Christ. So thinking our way through to God won’t make us right with God.
But there is hope as always in Christ. Jn 1 says that Jesus is the light and life of men so that if anyone will turn and repent of being their own lord God will illuminate the way to life for them. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. Jn 1:4. But the word also says that not all men are willing. It says that men condemn themselves when we love evil more than light; when we hold on to our pride and false freedoms more than give our whole life to Christ we are rejecting the hope given. This is why God commands us to deny ourselves less we lose our eternal life with him which is all he ever wanted for us.
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Jn 3:19
No evil can be in heaven so man has to change to be with God ( 1 Cor. 15). That change is not something we do but rather we receive through repentance led by the Holy Spirit. So if a person is not consistently in God’s presence they won’t change. They will be like the five foolish virgins and get left out (Matt.25). All of us have to make a choice to live for Christ fully, allowing Him to be Lord and giving up this life. We need to die so we can rise with Christ, forsaking this life. This won’t be popular in today’s soft Christianity but those who keep on with it will win the race and be filled with the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Jesus said that he would not leave us orphans. He sent the Spirit of Truth to us to guide us and convict us of sin. If we receive Him and submit to Him seeking Him to be our source of truth and wisdom we can’t be deceived. For God knows all and can’t be deceived. So if a Christian really wants to be free of deception they must bow to God and allow Him to lead. John 14:26
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
Take time now to pray and ask God to reveal any deception in your life. If you know that you live without God as your Lord; you make the decisions in your life according to your mind, then you need to repent and ask God to forgive you. Ask Him to come and be the working Lord of your life. Like David ask God to teach you his ways (Ps 25:4-5). Choose daily to ask God what to do. He will show you if you persist. Be blessed.
Recommended reading: My Sheep Hear My Voice, Ps JC Hedg