Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Recognizing Sources of Deception

I've taken this from InTouch magazine...a friend gave this to me to read an article on Helping the Homeless Regain Identity...but right after the article was the article actually meant for me :)  I've been carrying this little article around for weeks and reading over it every now and again.

I know that I was able to learn so much from the truth in the article, and I know that someone else reading this blog post will be able to learn from it too.

1 John 2:15-17 - 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

We encounter many temptations in the Christian life, but all stem from one (or more) of three major sources: the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  Each has its own unique way of deceiving us in an attempt to trip up our walk with the Lord.  But if we can begin to discern the distinguishing traits of what threatens to ensnare us, we can ready ourselves with the truth and stand firm against every lie.


*  The World competes with God for our loyalty and love.  James 4:4 - 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

*  The World incites lust and pride.  1 John 2:16 - 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

*  The World chokes us with worries, riches, pleasures of this life, making us spiritually unfruitful.  Luke 8:14 - 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.


*  The Flesh infiltrates our minds with its ways and lusts.  Romans 8:5-7 - 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

*  The Flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, urging us to satisfy ourselves.  Galatians 5:16-17 - 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want

*  The Flesh produces the deeds of the flesh - immorality, idolatry, relational discord, and sinful self-indulgence.  Galatians 5:19-21 - 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

*  The Flesh promises pleasure but reaps a ruined life.  Galatians 6:7-8 - 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.


*  The Devil masquerades as an angel of light.  2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve

*  The Devil tries to fill our minds with his lies and get us to do what he wants.  John 8:44 - 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

*  The Devil distorts the truth by mixing it with deception.  Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-5 - 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”; 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

*  The Devil misuses Scripture to delude us.  Matthew 4:5-7 - 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
   “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
   and they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

*  The Devil tempts us to doubt and give up.  1 Thessalonians 3:5-8 - 5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain. 6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.
*  The Devil gets a foothold in our lives through sins like unforgiveness and anger.  2 Corinthians 2:10-11 - 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
*  The Devil is always on the prowl looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8-9 - 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Loving Radically Through Christ,

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