Deception — it’s the problem nobody wants, yet it is a trap most easily fallen into. And the tricky part is, when you are already there, it is hard to perceive that you are deceived — although there are some definite warning flags.
Paul comments that, “in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1), and “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine … and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4). John tells us that we are already living in the last times, when the antichrist spirit infects many (1 John 2:18). Jesus warned that in the last days false Christs, false prophets, and false signs and wonders would abound, so that “if possible, they shall deceive even the elect [chosen]” (Matthew 24:24). What are we to do, to keep ourselves from deception?
In the next few posts, we will discuss how people get into deception, how to get out once we’re there, and how to keep out of it in the first place.
I have been surprised, as I’ve prepared for this series, to find out how much time was spent by the apostles putting out fires of deception. Deception is a major theme throughout the New Testament. Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and Jude hammered away at this topic. Avoiding deception seems to have been the uppermost topic in Paul’s mind when he wrote his two letters to Timothy. If it is that important to God, it had better be important to us as well.
We can be encouraged in knowing that God has provided ample instruction to keep us out of trouble. It is possible for us to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) without fear of erring into darkness. We can be confident that God will keep us from error, or pick us out of it if we start to go there, because He loves us so much. It is only when we resist His promptings that we stay in deception.
Next time we will talk about some indicators that deception is going on in our lives.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual