Deception is perhaps the greatest weapon in Satan’s arsenal. It comes in many varieties and strengths. The devil doesn’t need to get you to believe a big lie because a series of small ones will have the same effect. Our recent history shows us the results of generations of deception. Surveys show our trust in the government, media, and even medical doctors has never been lower. The world has deceived us for so long that it becomes nearly impossible to believe anything or anyone anymore!
When deception is the new standard, where can we go for truth? Thankfully, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). He does not change, and there is no deception in Him. We became too accustomed to trusting in the rulers and authorities of this world, turned away from Jesus, and are now bearing the consequences of our misplaced trust.
Paul warns us to “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things” (Ephesians 5:6). Those who deceive others are setting themselves up for the fury of God’s wrath. You would think that would be enough to frighten them away from their acts of deception, but they are too arrogant and deceived themselves to repent. When man becomes his own god, the true God no longer matters to him. When one spends too long believing the lie that they know better than God, it becomes increasingly difficult to find their way back to what is true.
How can we as Christ-followers protect ourselves from the deception of the world? The simple and easiest way is to love God. When we love the Lord, the world and its lies will hold little appeal for us. To love God is to hate the world, and when we hate the world, we will see through the deception Satan uses to confuse and entice us.
Let us be clear: Satan is the ruler of this world. All deception comes from him because he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Every liar is looking to Satan as his father instead of the God enthroned above the Heavens and the earth. When God is our focus and source of truth and wisdom, He will clothe us in righteousness. If we choose Satan, we will live and breathe deception.
Reading on in Ephesians, we find Paul’s stark warning to not associate with those who practice deceit because the truth has no companionship with deception (Ephesians 5:7-13). We expose the lies of the devil by sharing the truth of Jesus and taking His gospel into all the world (Matthew 28:18-20). We defend ourselves against the darkness of deception by bathing our minds in the light of truth found in God’s Word. The more you know what God says, the easier it becomes to see through the lies of this world.
God’s Spirit in you will instruct and help you discern the truth. But first comes absolute surrender. If you want to avoid deception, look to God alone for your understanding. A mind consumed with Christ will not fall prey to the tricks and deceptions of the evil one. Do not allow yourself to be deceived. Don’t live your life walking in darkness. Live in the light as Jesus Himself is in the light (1 John 1:7). He will keep and guard you and make your feet walk on straight paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).