How often have you felt confident about a certain situation, the appearance of a circumstance and the facts surrounding it, only to find out later that you misjudged the reality, were misled, lied to, or realized you were just plain wrong?

  • Something appeared to be good, but was evil.
  • Someone seemed honest, but was lying.
  • A situation looked to be favorable, but in the end took you down the wrong path.

It’s true, appearances can be misleading… we may be given an opportunity to join with others in a certain ministry, a door may open for a new direction in our business that seems an answer to prayer, or a potential love relationship shows itself as gift from God.

My detour into deception was not the only time in my life I got it wrong, and believed appearances to be true when they were anything but.

I’ve experienced a lifetime of being taken in, and then betrayed.

Why is it so hard to discern the truth about what only appears to be good, but in reality is not?

As I ponder this question, I must return to the truth about the enemy of our souls:

1 Peter 5:8-9

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

The enemy will always attempt to devour us, by making something that is bad for us (or downright evil) look good, leading us astray.

Has that ever happened to you?

When you finally realized how you’d been deceived, were you filled with shame? Did you beat yourself up for not seeing it coming?

Hmmmm. I know that feeling.

But Paul proclaimed that even Satan comes looking like a messenger of God…so don’t beat yourself up too bad. He is a crafty, deceptive, lying snake, and if we are vulnerable at all, or have any open doors to his influence, we can easily believe a lie to be truth.

2 Cor. 11:14b

Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Jesus had to rebuke the crowds who watched what He did and called it sinful… So here, we have the opposite…viewing the appearance of good and calling it evil.

John 7:24  

Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

Hmmmmmm.

We see good as bad and bad as good.

What’s up with that?

I think I want to camp here for a while and unpack this a bit more.

Lord, help us to see our tendency to judge by outward appearances, to come to a conclusion based on our senses. Fill us with your wisdom and insight that we might become discerning in all things, not falling for the schemes of the evil one meant to destroy us by leading us astray.

In Jesus’ Name…AMEN!

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