The title in itself is loaded with intrigue. For me though the intent is to bring attention to the root of this title. So what is the unfortunate reality?
Well the unfortunate reality is that reality is not desired by many as truth has become subjective. We hear deception and associate the word with those that prefer one thing but present another. Or someone thought they were getting something through some method that was provided and ended up with another.
But what does the Bible mean when it refers to self-deception in(1 Cor. 3:18). “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
How can I deceive myself? This question is the purpose of the title. As I would consider myself on this I wondered how did I deceive myself. It’s quite simple really. I did it through 3 ways and I will share them here in hopes self-evaluation can take place in the reader to not fall victim to the same.
The 1st way- Going to God with nothing but emotion towards life.
To explain I say this, The Heavenly Father sent his Son Yahshua The Christ to come and inform us that we must deny ourselves fist, pick up our cross second and then follow him. So where does the idea of me voicing displeasure about my worldly life fit into that equation? What most definitely follows this is a prayer to God for the situation or life we have to change so our discomfort can cease. Now at face value most would say, what’s wrong with doing that? Doesn’t God help or bring us out of hardships? To that I say backup first. Stop trying to nurture your rationale on it and view this from a Christian walk perspective since we claim to follow Christ.
This is what I mean; If our first encounter with God is about ourselves and our situations and the gospel through his son is about denying ourselves, we have to reevaluate our approach or we are saying I want God my way not the way his son showed me. Christ said I am the way, the truth, and the life. There is no deviation from this. You are either going to let go of your life, meaning your feelings, emotions, justifications, offenses and follow his way or you aren’t going to get the truth and the way will not be the same.
So in closing my 1st self deceived act was going to God through emotion about my life situations, hardships, and difficulties. If you do this be disciplined to make sure you ask his will in those things above your own. What may not present itself as comfort to your life does not mean it is not being used for something far greater than the comfort of life such as growth spiritually and mentally. Remember what Paul said; God will not be mocked. What you sow you will reap. So if you are sowing prayers of God change these things in my life your walk with him will become based on how well you think God is doing in response to those things changing when he is interested in changing you. So be careful and wise in your prayers.
The 2nd self-deceived way was – My works
This is a tough one for people for we genuinely think this can’t have us self deceived. But it is probably the one that has many Christians blind. What you do and who you are should reflect the same person. For example- When I started writing I felt connected to God. I felt like I have finally found my purpose. Surely I know him and he knows me as a son!! Yea my purpose is being fulfilled I would say. Yet here I was living with anger, resentment, rage, lust, lies, and sorts of wickedness within. All with my works on display through writing. Never thinking once to myself you are not of God nor do you know him. Having the ability to speak about God with coworkers, family, and friends and speak highly of him all apart of my works I thought showed I knew him.
Completely Self Deceived.
I once heard a man by the name Dan Mohler say this perfectly. Don’t let your works take the place of knowing The Father. This was so profound and direct. So I’ve concluded this. When Christ came and said; I come that you might know The Father, he was saying look how I show you that knowing him is living like he is in you. Your every decision thought, motive, and the action should all consider him. Consider him first. Knowing him isn’t about what you do, it’s about why you do it and who you do it for.
For example A man looked over his life and saw he had time to pick up a hobby or some activity in his leisure time. So he inquired with a co-worker about things he should consider. He stated he wanted to do something that had a purpose. His coworker suggested he should volunteer at the homeless shelter her and some friends help out every weekend. He thought that would be great! So he started volunteering and he enjoyed it deeply. One day he and his girlfriend and some of her family and friends were out at dinner together. After dinner they all began walking to their cars and on the street was one of the homeless men from the shelter. The homeless man recognized the volunteer. He approached to say hi not to ask for anything, and as he approached and spoke the volunteer scoffed at him and shunned him as the friends and family began to laugh at the homeless man. The volunteer began to ridicule him to ensure to everyone he had no attachment to him. In this he forgot his girlfriend was aware he volunteers at the shelter and immediately lost all respect and desire for him as a partner. Once she shared this with the friends and family they all did as well. All removing themselves from his life.
Let the one that reads this read with wisdom and understanding. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
For somewhat we do that looks good on the outside is the motive of why we do it. God is looking for those with the right insides. The right heart. Our works are made perfect through our faith and our faith made perfect though or works.
“Neither exists without the other” Be not self-deceived, me writing or speaking to others about God were not bad things to do, but if that’s the extent of my faith then the motives are prideful, selfish, and arrogant. My love for my wife, children, and all people especially those I don’t agree with or don’t care for me should be shown in how I treat them. If it does not show in this way then I am not of God for God is love and any who does not love does not know God.
The 3rd and final way was- Vain Knowledge
Knowledge is vital to our growth in Christ. Without it the Bible says his people perish. That tells you everything! So how can a person be self-deceived by gaining this? Well this one breaks down into two parts because it is so essential and Satan has been very crafty in how he deceives with this.
The first part is vain knowledge. You can read the Holy Bible for your desire to be informed. For information is power, and many seek this for the power it grants themselves, not the power of The Holy Spirit to change them. Many seek it for its ability to be perceived as good by others, many seek it to feel good about themselves. The allure to be seen as wise, intelligent, deep, and yes highly spiritual are reasons many read the Bible.
This is all vain.
Knowledge was the original thing sought by Adam and Eve. To know Good and Evil look pleasing. It appealed to everything that would soon shape what we know as normal now. Everything plays on a balance of what we believe is a greater good or a necessary evil. This has evolved into a blurred line of perception.
Now The Holy Bible is being fulfilled. As it is written Satan will transform himself into a form of light, presenting himself as good. All of this started when what was sought was knowledge of perception on what is Good and Evil rather than obedience to God The Father. Be careful to seek The Father without vain pride. You will not find him there. But what you will find is deception. Feeling you know him because of your information rather than your obedience. I caution again because this one is hard to overcome due to the pride element that is very strong with it, but with God all things are possible.
Remember never think any amount of knowledge means you know God. The application of knowledge shows wisdom and only then does it profit a man.
The second part of knowledge that deceives is the knowledge of the world.
Yes the world. All its ways and history. You see there are so many lies and corruption and deceit in this world and it spans from the beginning of time. Finding this knowledge is but finding a corpse Christ said. Doing in-depth research on all the ways of Satan is a diversion and it doesn’t bring you closer to God through Christ. It brings you closer to the many ways and diversions Satan has created against you. Use that time to dive into the freedom Christ came to give. Use not idle time to gain knowledge of the bondage Satan has created. This can be very deceptive. In searching out these things one can believe they are getting closer to God. But we only get close to God through living in him and he lives in us. And in him there is no lie, no corruption.
So if my time is used to study what is not of him I’m close to that which my time is used. It will be done in the quest for knowledge. Remember Adam and Eve sought the knowledge of Good and Evil. The seeking of knowledge was not the sin. For the word is clear- A lack of knowledge is why people perish. In all your getting get understanding and knowledge is the essential thing. So the knowledge spoken of here is that of Christ.
With that said if earthly knowledge has power and its knowledge perishes, how much greater is the knowledge of life that will never perish. Seek that 1st for it is The Kingdom of God.
The unfortunate reality is that many are under these three deceptions and either don’t know it or willfully choose them. Take these and evaluate oneself honestly daily. Seek the truth in Christ, and be free from these deceptions.
May peace in Christ be with us all