One of the worst feelings in the world is to know you were betrayed, deceived, lied to, manipulated, or conned. Tommy and I experienced this years ago with a business man who is now behind bars. With tens of thousands invested into this person, phone conversations with respected “board members and investors”, and trips portraying lucrative business transactions, we were stunned to learn it was all a lie.
This con man actually faked business conversations on speaker phones laying out the agreements for funding commercial buildings and properties. This con man actually faked air travel to the extent of sitting in the airport while phoning us so we could hear the intercoms initiating arrivals and departures. Stunned is not the right word, when Tommy and I sat in disbelief as attorneys and law enforcement questioned him regarding this perpetrator. And the best part, we were the low men on the totem pole of those scammed, swindled and embezzled.
When I came back to the church after years of living a worldly life, I was amazed at the values and viewpoints I had when measured up to God’s. Day 9, The Adulterous Woman, describes some of the attitudes I had coming back to the church. The Lord spoke to my spirit years ago “promiscuity is a promise skewed.” The lie our culture lays forth to young and old is we can do whatever we want to our bodies with relatively no repercussions. Movies inviting friends with extra benefits over or a little sex in the city couldn’t hurt anyone as long as it feels good. Most of the time, these “good Samaritans” conveniently forget to discuss the sexual transmitted diseases, AIDS, pregnancies, bullying, secret tapings, mockery, and backlash from the extra benefits with friends. I was deceived.
Demanding my own way, selfishly desiring and manipulating situations to benefit me and laying forth my stipulations regarding the children and household, I am sure Tommy felt stifled as if walking on egg shells all the time. My emotions were so tender and sensitive, the slightest look or wrong statement could send me spiraling out of control for days. I was deceived.
Believing our finances would never run out and we would always live in the land of plenty, I rarely saved any money. I wanted new things, a new car, a bigger house, trips and “stuff”, thinking as the “world”, the more you have, the more impressive you look. The more expensive the clothes purchased, the better; the bigger the car we had, the better. The bigger the house, you are living the American dream. But in one swoop, the “facade” can be taken from you. The “American Dream” can be expensive, tax breaking, stressfully damaging, emotionally draining and just plain ol’ sucking the life out of you. I was deceived.
When the serpent told Eve she would be as God, she was deceived. I believe this naïve, young girl, whom had never experienced evil, did not fully understand the consequences of her actions. I am not 100% convinced Eve’s actions were prideful and out of vain, but more along the lines of stupidity, naivety, and deluded. I do not believe a serpent wandered upon this youth one day and she followed his advice. I believe the serpent spent time watching her and she him. I believe Eve may have been accustomed to seeing this sly reptile because the Bible does not say she was astonished to see this creature speaking or next to her. God told Cain in Genesis 4:7, “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” I believe the serpent crouched next to Eve. I believe she was acclimated and familiar with the snake and did not mind the stimulating conversation. This encroachment of sin is crouching at our doors consistently. Just from flipping the television channels, your eyes can see the most ungodly things. It takes will and self control not to turn back and say, “What are they doing!”
In my own opinion, the deception unfolds bilaterally in the Garden. The first, Eve did take a tentative bite of the fruit, but nothing happened. The Bible says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3:6). Nothing. Maybe Eve took the first bite and waited, but nothing happened until she gave the fruit to her spouse. “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked.” (Genesis 3:7). The second deception, Eve had no authority over her husband or herself. I believe their eyes were open because Adam was the head of the house and where the serpent truly intended to leave his mark. Eve was just the pawn used to manipulate Adam, but unfortunately this man fell for temptation. The encroachment ruthlessly opened sin’s door of death and destruction for all the inhabitants of the earth.
As this saga continues, the couple continues their deception, blaming each other, then the serpent and no one claiming responsibility. Eve was deceived realizing she had been used by the serpent to get to her husband, and then deceived a second time being cast out of the Garden, neither a God nor wise! Eve, tossed out of the Eden and gathering her wits, looked around directionally challenged. Where would they go? What is tilling the ground and what are labor pains? The deception this woman fell for would bring her pain that can not be described. I am sure her blistered hands, scorched back and sore muscled would plague her mind at night as she looked up at the beautiful star filled sky and wondered, “Why did I eat that fruit?”
Woman, I plead with you, do NOT eat the fruit! If you find yourself tempted, sin encroaching at your door, enticement luring you to follow, remember Eve. After sin, after temptation, after the bite of prideful deception, you too may find yourself tossed out of the Garden, painfully aware of your mistake and directionally challenged, looking for a way to survive. You too may find your hands blistered, back sore and aching muscles lying in bed at night thinking, “What did I do?”
Deception is the “practice” of deliberately making someone believe something that is not true; an act, trick or lie intended to deceive or mislead some one (Encarta Dictionary). Satan has had an abundance of practice with deception. If you are addicted to pornography, there have been thousands of years in which men and women have fallen into the trap of watching sex for pleasure. Think of all the bath houses found in Rome, the sexual rituals demanded of false gods and idols. Yes, the devil has had much practice.
If you are prone to explosive anger or as the Apostle Paul describes it in Galatians “fits of rage”, then you would not be the first to fall victim or prey from the encouragement to violently explode with no matter the persons present or repercussions. Think of the murders committed in the bible for the Lord said the earth had become violent and wicked painfully aching his heart that he had made man. Yes, the devil has practiced his plight against man kind. You are not the first and will not be the last.
The devil, in his own prideful, narcissistic mind, thought Christ would succumb to the lure and enticements of this world. Christ is the light of the world and whoever follows him will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12) Christ came to set free the captives and to know the truth (John 8:32). Jesus was not deceived and used the Word of God from Deuteronomy to defeat his adversary. This is exactly what we are commanded to do. When those sexual thoughts of another man come flooding in, stand firm and say, “No, it is written thou shall not commit adultery.” Unable to defeat the Messiah, the accuser of the brethren would not be deterred, for I am sure he made his way to the “religious sector”.
I pray you are part of a church alive with the Holy Spirit. Alive with worship to Christ, alive with prayer and alive with the Word of God; I pray the Bible is preached in your sanctuary. The religious Pharisees and Sadducees were deceived for they believed they were slaves to no one, full of their own bloviating and selfish desires. Christ proclaimed, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34). Master the sin encroaching at your door and beware of the false teachers with their messages. 1 John encourages believers, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out in to the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:1-3).
Have you ever watched those shows with mediums who speak with the dead? I will admit that I did and was NOT surprised that not one spirit claimed anything about Jesus Christ. Notice all the dead spirits comfort the living with remembrances of the past and special moments from years ago. Why doesn’t a spirit ever proclaim glory from Heaven or plead with those to repent from hell? If a person has passed and has seen Christ Jesus in paradise, do you not think these would be the first words out of spirit’s mouth, “Glory to God in the Highest”. Many are truly deceived.
While on the conversation of mediums, I throw this in for good measure; there will be NO witches, ghosts, zombies, sorcerers, ghouls or the like in Heaven. If your time is spent with the money God has given you on such nonsense, you are truly deceived. If you are unable to worship Christ on this earth, but are memorized with “death”, then he just may give you the desires of your heart. If you want to read a “horror” book, then read 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese and turn of the deception Satan has lured you into. For that bite of the apple may cost you eternity.
The Apostle Paul addresses the issue of deception to Timothy, “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, and conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weakened willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning, but never able to acknowledge the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
This is our reality, the world we are living in today. Sad to say, but if you have glanced at reality television, see how God’s daughters are behaving with their scandalous actions, disgraceful lacked dressed bodies, depraved language and attitudes, the Apostle was pointing his finger in our direction. Christian be very careful with whom you confide. Exert restraint when accepting criticism or “worldly” advise, and pray for a discerning eye, ear and spirit when entertaining worldly habits. The serpent is very sly and can come in many disguises. As the bible declares for Christians to be on guard and Christ challenging us to be as gentle as doves, but as shrewd as snakes, we are to know the Word of God and use the weapons of our warfare defeating our adversary.
Christian, pray for discernment, the wisdom God gives us and wear it around your neck as garland. Rebuke pride, which has brought many to fall and that haughty spirit which beliefs “I would never do that!” Let’s pray and lay it at the cross
Pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:
I praise you Lord! I praise you for the salvation through Jesus Christ! I praise you for being the over comer that I am. I praise you for trouncing death, hell and the grave through the Blood of the Lamb. I praise you that I am more than a conquer and if you are for me, then who can be against me. I praise you for your Truth, wisdom, discernment and counsel (Psalm 25). For I believe to be lead by your Spirit in all situations and purpose including people, entertainment, thoughts, attitudes and my mind.
If I have been deceived, Father, lead me into repentance. If I have backslidden, rejecting the Truth for a lie, forgive me Lord and set my feet back on solid ground (Psalm 40). I forgive those who have willfully deceived me, willfully intended harm and willfully desired me to fall. I will be as Jesus Christ and declare, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” They do not know they are following the ruler of the kingdom of the air, and I pray for them (Ephesians 2:1-10). I pray if I have been the one to deceive, I believe through the Christ’s death on the Cross, I am a new creation, born again and baptized into the body of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:7)
I pray that Jesus call my name from death to life. I pray you remove the hard heart that I have, and say to my spirit, “Take away the stone.” (John 11:38) I pray Jesus call my name as he did Lazarus from the destruction of death, out of the tomb of darkness and into the light of life. As Christ said, “Lazarus, come out!” You call my name, “_____________, come out!” Come out of the deception of death and into arms of Christ! This dead man came out, hands and feet wrapped, and a cloth around his face. Jesus commanded, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Father, I call to you to remove the stench of death from my spirit, remove the bondage my hands and feet endured, set me free to go and tell, removing all scales and lies from my mind for I too have been blind, but now I see!
Help me prepare everyday for battle with the weapons of our warfare (Ephesians 6:10-19). Draw me close for fellowship and worship to my King. I pray to surrender all, rebuking all lies from the enemy, and submitting to Christ as my Lord. I give you all praise and glory! For every tongue will confess on earth, under the earth and above, Jesus Christ is Lord! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen!