“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” James 1:16
To be deceived is to be misled from a proper belief or course of action. We are so easily deceived; this should not surprise us. From Satan’s first question in the Garden of Eden, “Did God really say…?” to today, we have been falling for his schemes. Satan has come to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) and will stop at nothing to accomplish his objectives. Satan doesn’t tell Adam and Eve about the negative consequences of his deception. He fails to mention getting driven from the Garden, shame, pain in childbirth, toil in the fields, their kids killing each other, or about the separation from God. He just paints a picture of the good, he deceives them.
How often do we buy into the lies of Satan? We believe we are born with a good nature, that we can get into heaven by being a “pretty good person.”
We must be aware of his schemes and fight against them with the power of God. We MUST pray for discernment. Jesus tell us to “watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is week” (Matthew 26:41) and pray that God would “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). We pray for protection (from external sources of deceit) and purity (from internal sources of deceit).
God has given us proper belief and a proper course of action in His Word, the Bible. Don’t be deceived by Satan. He will keep you from the Bible by distracting you or making you too busy. If you do read the Bible, Satan will keep you from being obedient by surrounding you with fear and discouragement (and busyness). If you do attempt to read and obey, Satan will ramp up his game against you. But do not fear! Jesus promises in the second half of John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
What about you?
How are you being deceived by Satan?
What lies are you believing?
What is distracting you from pursuing Jesus?
What is keeping you from reading God’s Word?
Remember, sometimes what is good is the enemy of what is best.