“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
But understand this: In the last days, terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without the love of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!…2 Timothy 3:1-4
Forewarned that troublesome times would come has often been viewed with great skepticism. Yes, the Bible tells us of a period of change, but wasn’t that supposed to happen in the distant future? According to our current events, we are living in the last days of earth’s history. It is not by chance that we are experiencing a pandemic, acts of nature, escalation of racism, child abuse, human trafficking, political dissent, and many other factors that have most living on the edge.
For me, the most prevalent enemy that we face is deception. If we think about a magicians’ illusions, then we are aware that magic is effective because of the “Trick of the Eyes.” Being fooled by make-believe is easily accomplished; a positive outcome is possible because the audience desires to see the trick and also has the desire for the trick to end successfully. We are excited that the illusionist has performed an excellent feat, and we applaud for a job well done.
When we embrace fantasy, misinformation, and unproven theories, we experience a metamorphosis. Eventually, our brain becomes confused, we are unable to perceive truth, and the dividing line between illusion and reality disappears. After all, even in the innocence of having fun, magic is based on deception and lies. The realm of the unknown entices us, and the things that promise to enhance our quality of life we readily embrace.
Advertisements for products are carefully developed to captivate the target audience that will become customers. The individuals are identified by a team of marketing experts who possess the powers of persuasion. Do we benefit from most of the products that are presented to enhance our lives? The article by Forbes is quite interesting: https://www.forbes.com/sites/karagoldin/2018/11/06/3-reasons-why-the-benefit-of-your-product-isnt-always-its-selling-point/#56e7e2732f41
Yes, we face deception every day. Not all manipulative tactics are developed for our detriment, but it is always the recipient who takes risks when they “Just Believe.” As the illusionist, Teller of Penn and Teller states, “Lying respectfully is a terribly delicate art.” Our environment includes individuals who are experts at lying respectfully. There are times when we are confused because we desire to hear sugar-coated words or seek unproven ideologies to cope with adversity.
With so much misinformation flooding our lives, how do we determine if what we see and what we hear is true or false? I believe in the power of prayer and that the Bible is the Voice of God. Have you ever had a life-changing thought that has prevented you from making a mistake? That is the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
God has established a standard for truth. Through prayer and diligent study of the Bible, He has promised to protect us from deception.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
King Solomon prayed and asked God for wisdom. God was so pleased with his unselfish request that Solomon received above and beyond the wisdom that he asked from God. He received the unique gift of being the wisest man to ever live.
11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 1 Kings 3:11-12
We have the same opportunity to pray for wisdom and the gift of discernment, which is necessary to avoid deceptive tactics. As we seek knowledge, we learn of God and His promises of grace and mercy to protect us. If we continue in faithfulness and obedience, God will allow us to receive all of His bountiful blessings. I look forward to better days in a New Heaven and New Earth. Revelation 21-22
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 3
God, we are surrounded by deception, tricks, and respectful lies. We ask that you give us wisdom and the discernment to know the difference between truth and misinformation. We commit to trust in your promises and ask for your guidance. Please fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may live righteously. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.