Are you being deceived? It’s a valid question to ask yourself. With so many voices and opinions vying for our attention, it can be challenging for anyone to sort truth from fiction.
In the last days, the Bible tells us many will be deceived.
Are you one of them?
Throughout the Scriptures, we are warned against the dangers of deception—not only in the end times but also in our day-to-day lives.
If you think about it, guarding against deception in our everyday lives is what ultimately prepares us to do so in the end times. It’s not something most of us think about every day, but we must give it attention, or it will sneak up on us and overtake us without our even knowing it.
Are you being deceived? The very definition of deception means that those who are deceived do not know or believe they are deceived. So, it’s vital that we, as believers, are on guard against this trap from the enemy and diligently seek after the truth found only in God’s Word.
Here are four ways to guard against deception to keep you strong, free and living in the truth!
1. Know the Definition of Deception
One thing you need to know right off is this: anyone can be subject to deception. No one is immune.
In fact, thinking you can’t be deceived means you already are.
In her recent teaching on the dangers of deception, Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons shared the first step to guarding your heart against deception, which is to know the definition of deception. First, it’s essential to understand what deception is not.
When you do something wrong—and you know it’s wrong—that’s not deception. That’s making a really poor choice. The only deception in this is the idea that there will be no consequence to what you’re doing.
True deception is much deeper. It comes when you get swept away by a wrong idea, but you’ve become convinced that it is truth. That’s what Timothy was talking about when he said, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
“Itching ears” are those that only want to be told what they want to hear. They want the message of God restyled to fit the times and the flow of society. This leads to mixing truth and falsehood until the accurate picture of Christ and Christianity is no longer presented.
That’s the definition of deception—being swept away into believing as truth what you didn’t believe previously. That’s what happened in the Garden of Eden.
The nature of deception is a work of fear that begins with questioning. Adam and Eve believed what God said about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil until another voice came along and told them they should question that truth. Then, they started to lean away from the truth through their own questioning: Is that what He really said? Is He trying to keep something from us?
Instead of going back to the Source, they let questioning lead them away. That’s deception.
2. Prepare Ahead of Time
Knowing how easy it is to be swept away into deception, Paul strongly warned us to “take heed” in 1 Timothy 4:16.
To take heed means to beware, perceive and consider carefully. That means we need to prepare ahead of time to judge those things that present themselves as truth. And we should be able to discern quickly and accurately, using the knowledge we have built up.
Guarding against deception is proactive.
Don’t wait until something comes up to try and figure out if it is truth or deception. Be ready for it.
How do you get ready?
You spend regular time in the Word of God. And don’t let the input of the world outweigh the input of God’s Word in your life. Your time praying and fellowshipping with the Lord is the greatest preparation for standing firm in the last days.
When some new thought or idea comes along—like the idea that homosexuality is acceptable—you won’t be swept away by the ever-changing cultural norms. You’ll stand firm in the light of the truth you already know.
Pastor Terri says, “If you analyze something with your own thoughts and opinions, you are setting yourself up for deception. As believers, we have our own measuring stick—another foundation on which to base our perceptions.” That measuring stick is God’s Word.
There will be greater and greater challenges at the end of the age, and the Bible tells us that large numbers of people in the Body of Christ will be led astray (Luke 21:8). That warning is not meant to scare us, but to help us. When we prepare ahead of time to combat the devil’s tactics, we are guarding against deception.
3. Compare Everything to the Word of God
Whenever an idea, philosophy or doctrine is presented, you never have to wonder if it’s true. All you have to do is compare everything to the Word of God, and you will have your answer—that’s how you guard against deception.
There are plenty of people out there who are willing and ready to cause deceit—especially when it helps them to justify their wrong or sinful living. Causing deceit means pressuring someone to accept as true or valid, something that is not true.
We’re seeing a lot of it these days.
There are those who want to believe it is acceptable to the Lord when they choose to vote for candidates whose views oppose the Word of God. That is deception. (Find A Prayer to Break the Spirit of Deception HERE.)
There are even Christians who have been deceived by the world into thinking homosexuality and abortion are somehow acceptable. That’s deception because it isn’t based on the truth of God’s Word.
Deception also disregards God’s law of sowing and reaping. To be deceived is to think you can plant apple seeds and harvest pears, to believe you can plant seeds of hate and reap life and love, or that you can plant seeds of anger and reap peace.
Galatians 6:7 says God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, he will also reap. You can’t sow one thing and get another.
There is also a fine line between something that is valid and something that is true.
Something that is valid is not absolute in itself. For example—it is a valid fact that COVID-19 is real and has taken lives. But the truth is that Jesus bore COVID-19 for you on the cross, and when you’re born again and have faith in what Jesus did for you, it is no longer a threat to you.
When you compare everything to the Word of God, you will guard against deception.
Watch Kenneth and Gloria Copeland teach you how to meditate on the Word of God.
4. Live By Faith
Finally, to guard against deception, you’ve got to live by faith. That’s what will keep you out of deception.
There will always be challenges in this world. Even we, as faith people, will face them. But one thing is different for us. We know the truth. So don’t be deceived into thinking that anything less than victory is God’s will for you.
The world will tell you to expect defeat, failure, sickness and disease, broken relationships, and financial trouble. When you live by faith, you believe the truth in God’s Word, which says:
- “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
- “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
- “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)
- “The victory that overcomes the world is my faith!” (1 John 5:4)
- “God always causes me to triumph!” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
God’s Word is truth, and His Word says we will always come out on top. Pastor Terri says, “We are the proof of His victory.” Praise God!
Study these four ways to guard against deception and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. Be alert, keep yourself prepared, and dig your heels deep into God’s Word. Refuse to budge from its truth, and you will stand firm now and in the days to come. You can guard yourself against deception!
Watch Gloria Copeland and Pastor George Pearsons talk about end-time instructions.
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