Monday, March 17, 2014

Be Discerning

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Ephesians 5:6,7

The Bible tells us that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32).  Therefore, just as knowing the truth is paramount to freedom, deception is the key to slavery.

Can you recall someone telling you something about yourself that you now know to be a lie?  How did those words effect you?  Well, if you believed their lies, you became deceived and most likely began to view yourself through that lying lens.  Its affects in your life were probably hurtful and debilitating.  But by the grace of God, Jesus has set us free!

So now we no longer believe the lies right?  Well, unfortunately, sometimes we like to revisit the places we feel most comfortable.  Like those old slippers which are worn out but you refuse to throw out.  And why should you?  They have assimilated to your feet.  Buying new ones means breaking them in-a process that may be a little uncomfortable and time consuming.  Just like the slippers that are past due, so are the lies.  It's time to take both to the trash.

Many times we don't think we are falling under deception, but that's exactly the problem with deception.  It can be so subtle, it's hard to detect.  Maybe the lies are no longer blatant but they are there nevertheless.  The Bible warns us not be deceived by vain words.   Where could we possibly hear these vain words?  

We are constantly being bombarded with the world's vain words.  It has its own standard of how we should dress, what we should own, and what we deserve.  The world will seek to puff you up telling you how it is not vanity to buy that dress...I mean you are representing the King right?  But the Word challenges us to be concerned with clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).  The world will tell you to buy more and the latest.  I mean you have to keep yourself relevant to the times right?  But the Word says the world and its desires pass away,  but the man who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:17).  The world tells us we deserve a break, a girl's night out to be refreshed whereas the Word says that those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).  These are just to name a few.  

Buying a new outfit or having some quiet time are not "bad" in of themselves.  But if your motives are aligned to the world's standards, they are.

So how do I know if I am under a deception?  If we read a little further down in Ephesians 5:8-11, we get valuable insight.

For you were once darkness, but now your are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Are you living in light?  
Is there anything do, say, partake in, or even meditate on that is not consistent with bearing fruit of all goodness, righteousness, truth? 
Do you walk transparently before your Family in Christ?
How do you react when something you did/said comes into question?
Are you more interested in finding out what pleases the Lord in a situation rather than making decisions based on your desires?

If I find myself being deceived by the world's empty words, how do I get out from under this deception?

1.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness
Cut these influences from your life immediately.  Remember if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off (Mark 9:45).  Likewise cut off anything that is serving as a stumbling block in your walk with the Lord.

2.  Expose them
Confess the deception to a leader in your church.  Don't keep any secrets with the devil.  Not only with this leader help to hold you accountable but they will also help you pray for the situation.

The Bible tells us to test everything and hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  What God says is good.  What He does is good.  He is good (Psalm 34:8).  So let's use the discernment He has given us to call what is evil, evil and not call good what is evil (Isaiah 5:20).  Then we will come out from any deception and remain under His truth.