An old strategy that is still destroying lives …
As I was approaching the Las Vegas metro area from the northeast, I could barely make out the city skyline because of the thick brown haze that hugged the valley like a heavy wet blanket. I didn’t know if it was dust or pollution that was obscuring my view, but neither made it desirable to drive into something so uninviting.
My perception changed radically once I drove deeper into the city limits.
Even though whatever it was that had originally shrouded the city was still in the air, I could no longer see it. The sky appeared to be clear with hardly a cloud to be seen. All that was visible was a beautifully bright blue sky on a warm day in the desert.
That’s the problem with perception, it’s often deceiving.
What appeared to be beautiful weather extending into the throes of Fall was still an atmosphere full of contaminates; it hadn’t become healthier to breathe the air, but the perception that it had would have been convincing had I not first seen what I was really driving into.
That’s how Satan operates.
From a proper vantage point perched upon the Gospel, we can see clearly that the world is contaminated with sin. In truth, it’s ugly, it’ not something healthy to drive our lives into. But it surrounds us, and it’s all too easy to adjust our perception so that we take the vile as being something beautiful and welcoming. Close up, it doesn’t seem so bad until you breathe it in, sucking the pollution into your life.
Originally, Satan used a false perception to lure Eve into sin. Today, there are “false apostles” who continue this strategy of destruction …
“These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve,” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
John warns us about these devious men who pollute leadership positions in the church …
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world,” 1 John 4:1.
Such an ominous warning! So how can we tell if our perception about such leaders is correct or not? John provides an answer …
“But if anyone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here,” 1 John 4:3.
While this ages old strategy of deception for destruction continues, John encourages us with this …
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception,” 1 John 4:4-6.
How are you viewing life and what the world offers? Is it through the clear, accurate, and healthy view of biblical truth? Or have you sucked in the dangerous deception of modern-day deceivers?