Who are the targets of satanic deception? (Part 2)
Unfortunately, what he thought he knew, did not stop him from backsliding for a period of time. Obviously, he forgot the Scripture that says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), and “…let a man that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall” -1 Corinthians 10:12. Those who find themselves in this condition ultimately open themselves up to biblical complacency. Which is the false state of believing that we know enough to get by.
Is that the goal of the Christian life, just to get by? Of course not; the goal is to grow up to be like Christ. We should never rest on our laurels, and believe that what we know will suffice; there is always more at the table of His Word to be eaten. We remember the words of the angel of the Lord to the prophet Elijah:
“And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, ‘Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you. So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God” – 1 Kings 19:7-8.
As Elijah needed food for his journey, so we too need the spiritual food, that is God’s Word, for our life’s journey. However, unlike physical food, when there are times we ought to be pushing ourselves away and know when we’ve had enough, we should never decide that we’ve had enough of His Word. The enemy can sense complacency as he observes our daily biblical habits.
DO YOU SPEND TIME IN THE WORD IN BETWEEN SUNDAYS?
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND IN THE WORD ON A DAILY BASIS?
ARE YOU EASILY DISTRACTED FROM IT?
These all serve as barometers to your dedication to the Word. Let the enemy see and know that there is no place for biblical complacency in you.
THE BIBLICALLY UNFAITHFUL
To be biblically unfaithful does not just consist of not doing what the Bible says, but it also means to believe something that the Bible doesn’t say. When Christians reach beyond what is written, and buy into error over truth, they have become unfaithful to it. Satan promotes this type of unfaithfulness relentlessly by using those who have gone astray by looking for something new or something deeper, rather than taking the Word as it is.
Why does this happen? Because on a certain level, they are dissatisfied. There is nothing wrong with desiring more of the Lord. One of the ways we do this is by reacquainting ourselves with His Word. But some pastors and teachers, in an effort to give their respective groups or congregations something fresh, end up compromising Scripture in some fashion.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
We must all avoid the “itching ear syndrome”; desiring to be told good things alone, while disregarding weightier matters like sin, repentance and holiness. When this happens, inevitably both teacher and student or pastor and congregation will be the worse for it, for they have both become unfaithful to the Word. It is no wonder that Jesus spoke these words:
“But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch’” (Matthew 15:13-14).
This will be the miserable result of biblical unfaithfulness. This is why we must be careful not to become the targets of satanic deception. But it can be avoided.
HOW CAN I AVOID SATANIC DECEPTION?
Do you know how to treat biblical truth? The proper response to biblical truth, mixed with discernment, will begin to ensure that you don’t become a target of his deceit. Let me leave you with these three “anti-deception” questions:
“Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it” – Psalm 119:140 (NKJV)
Do you consider His Word to be pure, and do you love it?
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” – 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
This is a difficult question to ask, but do you believe the truth you read? Is there a measure of doubt concerning any portion of His Word that lingers in your spirit?
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
Is His Word the absolute final authority for all matters in your life?
With the sword of the Spirit in hand, and remaining sharp, we can live deception-free lives, blessing the Lord along the way.
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Spectator – Saturday 25th July, 2020