Our dog does not like to go outside when the weather is sketchy. Cold, wind, rain and especially thunder make him cower under a blanket. But because the world is his potty, he has to go out at times no matter what the weather may be doing. Like this morning. It was windy. Leaves were blowing and he did not want to go out the backdoor. So my husband tricked him. "Let's go get the mail, Copper!" Immediately Copper jumped off the couch and ran to the front door. He was excited to go outside now. Yes, we had to deceive our dog to get him outside, but it was for his own good.
Yet deception in real life is never a good thing. Merriam Webster defines 'deceive' as:
Ensnare; to be false to; cheat; to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid
I hate it when someone tells me a lie! I canNOT stand it when I know someone is lying to me or trying to trick me into doing something. It makes me distrustful of them from that point on. And like I tell my kids, once trust is lost it is not easily gained back. But the truth is we get duped all too often in this world. Sometimes by people, businesses and governments. Sometimes, however, we get duped by someone far more sinister.
The very first reference in the Bible to deception comes in Genesis 3:13. God has created everything beautiful and perfect, including mankind. Adam and Eve are living in paradise in the Garden of Eden. They want for nothing. But, like most of us at one time or another, that isn't good enough. God's best was not enough for Adam and Eve. It didn't take long for The Enemy to figure that out. He slithered into the Garden, approached Eve and told her the first of many, many lies he would tell from that point on. And Eve, like most of us at one time or another, bought into his lie. When God confronts her about it, she says,
"The serpent deceived me."
Folks, the serpent is still deceiving people today.
"There is no God."
"The Bible is just an ancient book of fairy tales."
"Cheating isn't wrong as long as no one gets hurt."
"God made me gay."
"I fell in love with someone else so divorce is okay."
On and on. There isn't a human around that hasn't fallen for his lies. Paul knew this was true. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 he writes:
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? DO NOT BE DECEIVED! Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (Emphasis is mine.)
(For those like me who need to know what the original Greek text said, here is a link.)
Do not be deceived! Do not buy into the lies the Enemy is telling. In John 8:44 Jesus himself calls Satan "a liar and the father of lies." That tells me that 1) Satan is real! and 2) we need to beware of his lies. The Enemy tells us what is not true or valid. And when we accept it as truth we jeopardize our place in the Kingdom of God.
How do you know when you've been deceived? How do you know what is truth and what is a lie? Ask youself one simple question: Does what you're doing and/or believing align with the Bible? Are you on the same page as biblical teachings? If not, then you've been deceived, plain and simple. God will never, ever trick you. He is truth. Sometimes we don't want to hear the truth He offers and that's when the Enemy steps in.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED!
Your very life may depend on it!