How to Know You’re Being Deceived

Posted: September 8th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

A number of years ago on election night, I was following the results of a particular race I was very interested in. I felt strongly about one candidate and wanted to see him win. As the votes were counted, it was becoming clear my candidate had lost.

It’s one thing to feel disappointed, but something much more serious was going on inside me. Something I did not recognize at the time.

After hearing the results, this is what went through my mind in just a split second: “God, You really can’t be counted on in the things that really matter, so I guess I will just have to take care of myself.”

What was taking place in my heart and mind?

I was being deceived. Whether I was deceiving myself or was being deceived by the enemy doesn’t really matter. I was being deceived into questioning God’s goodness and God’s rightful rule in my life.

I was allowing my disappointment in an election result to cloud my thinking. I was interpreting God’s character through the lens of my circumstances. And God was not looking good. Instead, He was looking like someone I just couldn’t count on. Someone who didn’t come through when it really mattered.

My conclusion, which I took just a fraction of a second to reach, was that I was going to do things my way. If God wasn’t going to handle things that really mattered, then I would have to be in control of my life. God was clearly not trustworthy.

If you find yourself doubting God’s character or rejecting His rule in your life–you can know for certain you are being deceived. No doubt about it.

Satan deceived Eve by causing her to doubt God’s good intentions toward her. The enemy convinced her that disobeying God was not wrong, but actually the right thing to do.

Are you doubting God’s character because of your circumstances? Does your financial situation lead you to conclude that God lied when He said He’d meet your needs? Does an ongoing health issue make you wonder if God is good?

Are you beginning to rationalize a decision or behavior you know is wrong? Maybe your thoughts go something like this: “I know it’s wrong to ___________________, but God will forgive me.” Or is it: “I don’t think the Bible really says that I shouldn’t ___________________.”

If you are doubting God’s character or questioning His authority in your life, you are being deceived.

Choose to reject the deception and believe the truth. James 4:6b-7 says:

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and He will flee from you.

You are particularly vulnerable to temptation and deception when you find yourself in any of the following conditions: hungry, angry, lonely, tired or bored.

When we allow those conditions to persist, we set ourselves up to be tempted and deceived into questioning God’s character and authority. Then we’re just one decision away from rejecting God and following a destructive course of action.

How vulnerable are you today? What deceptions have you already allowed to take root in your heart and mind?

If you’ve read this post today, then maybe this is God’s way of reaching out to you. Before it’s too late.

By the way, the candidate I wanted to win, actually did. My wrong conclusions about God weren’t even based on the truth. Which, if you think about it, is always the case.


One Comment on “How to Know You’re Being Deceived”

  1. 1 David Steinquist said at 4:03 PM on September 9th, 2009:

    Thanks for your post, Gregg! The book of James is one of my favorite, and a little earlier, I get some real encouragement. James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those that love him.” This verse for me is just PACKED with what I need to hear when I fall into wrong thinking.


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