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Deceived by others …

I hope you had a chance to pray through the verses from last week and ask the Holy Spirit to point out any areas of deception. This week we are turning the tables from last week’s admonition to not deceive ourselves to inspect the ways that Scripture says we can be deceived by others.

I regularly must remind myself of Proverbs 4:23 … to guard my heart, as I have choices to make of what I allow into my heart. It is my job as a follower of Christ to scrutinize and assess what I allow in, understanding that which I embrace will affect my behavior influencing either wise or foolish actions.

With this in mind, let’s look at the seven ways we can be deceived by others.

1. Being deceived by others who say they are righteous but do not live it. Believers are encouraged to judge the fruit of others, those in fellowship and those who teach. Scripture warns that those who talk-the-talk, but do not walk-the-walk, bring deception!

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. ~ 1 John 3:7 NASB

2. Thinking about worthless debates that minimize the seriousness of sin. They may even go so far as to make us feel like we are missing out if we don’t join them in their folly. Those who don’t know the Word of God well and in context are easy targets for others to twist scripture and make it say what they want, just to promote their agenda.

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments [that encourage you to sin], for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience [those who habitually sin]. Ephesians 5:6 (AMP)

3. Following prosperity preachers and mega church influencers who are known for their eloquent and powerful preaching and lavish lifestyles. They tickle ears and avoid the truth of the gospel to gain more followers and amass more money for themselves.

I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments. ~ Colossians 2:4 (AMP)

4. Regarding apostles and prophets who’ve prophesied falsely, declaring something that did not happen. Do they repent or admit their words were false and they were deceived? For the most part, no. Prophetic words and dreams that are not from God and thus deceptive are running rampant through the church in America.

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream; for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord. ~ Jeremiah 29:8-9 (ESV)

5. Drawing us to worship other gods. This could be someone who makes fun of obedience or our decision to abstain from social media, entertainment, or mood-altering substances.

Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away [from the Lord] and serve other gods and worship them. ~ Deuteronomy 11:16 (AMP)

6. Finding ourselves in conversations where the person flatters us and subsequently “sells” us on what they’re promoting. These people cause division by their smooth and flattering speech and in Romans 16 we are told they are to be avoided.

For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. ~ Romans 16:18 (ESV)

7. Leading our minds astray by the craftiness of the enemy. The enemy cunningly works through movements within the church to reclaim new age and/or practices with occultic roots by appealing to our pride. This is demonstrated when Eve was deceived by the enemy as he questioned her belief: did God really say?

But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:3 (AMPC)

Be alert! Ask for God to make you aware when deception seeps into areas unknowingly. Some of these places where we can easily let our guard down include both worship music and the law of attraction.

Some use worship music as bait to draw the unsuspecting from pure devotion to Christ to a more “hip” and “trendy” way that is drawing the masses.

Others claim the “Law of Attraction” is biblical and a child of the King has the authority and the right to speak things into existence. They teach our words have power in declaring and decreeing health and wealth in the Name of Jesus.

So, how about you? Have you ever fallen prey to deceivers like the seven described above?

How has the enemy drawn you into deception and what did it take for you to wake up and realize you’d been deceived?

Praying about and journaling these experiences and comparing what you hear to the Word will help you begin to see the red-thread in your own life. This practice will reveal how God has been faithful to open our eyes to deception and help us walk away from the lie.

Thanks for spending some time with me today!

Athena Dean Holtz
Welcome, I'm Athena!

I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.

Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!

The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.

Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!

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