Let us continue the subject of Christian integrity by addressing deception. It is one thing to lie, but it is another to deceive. The liar lies out of habit and does not necessarily plan anything in his lying. He just wants to put himself in a good light. The deceiver has gone further in that the lie is the stepping stone to his well-thought-out schemes to get his desired end. You will find him manipulating and scheming very artfully and craftily. All of us have been amazed at those whom we sense have deceived us but we cannot get a handle on it. The reason is that the deceiver becomes a master of deception as a result of being taken captive by the Master Deceiver; Satan himself. “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world”. Revelation 12:9
Satan is constantly at work deceiving believers. Paul states his fear for the church at Corinth in II Corinthians 11:3; “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” I am also reminded of Paul’s words to Timothy in I Timothy 4:1-2; “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies of hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”
Any of us who have dealt with drug addicts, alcoholics, etc., have experienced the effects of those who have ‘given heed to deceiving spirits’. And, in some sense, they have departed from the faith; even though they “have not….learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.”
This spirit of deception in a person is one of the hardest to deal with, for human wisdom is not able to cure it. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 4:11) But the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, (Ephesians 6:17) “is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
I encourage you to pray for your loved one who is caught up in deception using the words in Ephesians 1 which Stacy Pruitt prayed for her husband as we shared in our last newsletter. Pray fervently; “the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.
Discipline may be needed as you continue to pray. You may have to confront the deceiving one and give an ultimatum. You may have to put the person out, as painful as that may be. The one caught up in deception has not come to the end of his rope yet. When the noose gets tight enough around the neck, it will then be an opportunity for the Spirit of the Lord to get his attention. Then the person can cry out to the Lord for mercy and begin to acknowledge his sin against God and man.
Rebuke the spirit of deception in the one taken captive and command it to leave. Light can then penetrate into his soul and tenderness toward God and others can return. And, God can begin to minister to his broken and contrite spirit. What was impossible with man is possible with God. Matthew 19:26
It has been well-said; “Difficulty is the atmosphere of miracles.” May our Lord bless and keep you.