Eve was deceived and she believed a lie. Deception has been the primary strategy of Satan from the beginning. That is why truth sets us free, and why Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Neil T. Anderson wrote a book titled “The Bondage Breaker.” He mentions in one of his chapters about the Danger of Deception. According to him, one avenue through which Satan attempt to dissuade us from God’s truth and deceive us into believing his lies is Self-deception.
Beware of Self-deception. There are several ways in which we can deceive ourselves.
We deceive ourselves when we hear the Word of God but don’t do it (James 1:22; 1 Pet. 1:13)
Those of us who receive the Word are vulnerable to self-deception if we fail to put it into practice. We hear a sermon or a lesson and say, “Wow! What a great truth!” and share it with someone else without processing it ourselves and applying it to our own lives. James said that hearers of the Word who are not also doers of the Word deceive themselves (James 1:22).
We deceive ourselves when we think we are religious but do not bridle our tongue (James 1:26)
There is nothing that grieves God more than when we bad-mouth people instead of building them up. We are never to use our tongues to put others down. Instead we are to edify one another in what we say and thereby give grace to those who hear us (Eph. 4:29, 30). If our tongue is out of control, we’re fooling ourselves to believe that we have our spiritual life together.
We deceive ourselves when we think we will not reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7)
As Christians we sometimes think we are exempt from this principle, but we are not. We will have to live with the consequences of our thoughts, words, and actions, whether good or bad.
We deceive ourselves when we think the unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9,10)
Living a brazenly (without fear) sinful life is strong evidence of an unrighteous standing before God. This is not a works gospel; it is a matter of identifying true disciples by their fruit. You are deceived if you believe that your lifestyle does not need to line up with your profession of faith.
We deceive ourselves when we think we can continually associate with bad company and not be corrupted (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Does this mean that we shouldn’t minister to those with bad morals? No, we must share Christ with them. But if we immerse ourselves in their environment, our ministry will eventually diminish and our morality will be affected for the worse.
Is it possible for Christians to be deceived? Yes, in fact everyone is deceived at some time or another. This points to the importance of humility to admit that we might be wrong (deceived) and the importance of the body of Christ to help us find our way back when we have erred.
A Personal Project: What are the things are we believing that are contrary to God’s truth? How long have we been deceiving ourselves? What are His words that we missed applying?
Keep deepening yourself in the Word of God and start humbly applying His truth that we may spare from any deceptions of the evil one.