November 14, 2003
Encouragement for Today
Lou Ann Prater
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion. (NIV)
Flying over the clouds on our way to Europe I was fascinated with their appearance. It was the most serene view. Fluffy balls of cotton and translucent puffs of down could not have been more inviting. My eyes glassed over as I drifted and dreamed of plopping into the middle of that billowy blanket. Oh, it was so peaceful, so inviting, and so incredibly WRONG!
As the pilot began the final descent we cracked through the edge of that seemingly soft pillow. The seat belt light came on and the plane began to rock as we fought our way through the darkness. It was thick and gray and impossible to see. The wings were shaking and so were my hands.
Webster describes deceit as misrepresenting the truth or purposely misleading.
Satan wants to make the world look soft and cozy and compelling. He wants temptation to appear as the best choice. “Look at what I’m offering you here! It’s beautiful, it’s easy, it’s peaceful,” he whispers. If he threw up a sign that said, DANGER, no one would ever dive in. But he is crafty and cunning and longs to trip us up with lovely things.
What tempts you? When we are feeling low, he doesn’t send spinach, he sends donuts and candy and things we ‘deserve.’ When things are rocky at home, he doesn’t send a dirty, smelly ogre, he sends a soft voice and gentle touch. When you don’t have a good answer, he doesn’t send a whopping tale that no one would believe, just a small seemingly insignificant stretch of the truth.
Think about it. Satan hasn’t come up with anything new since the beginning of time! In the Garden of Eden he didn’t tempt Eve with rotten, wormy, nasty smelling fruit! He pointed out fruit that looked good and the benefits of eating it. He made it seem so natural, so right. He is trying to do the same thing to you and me. Recognize him for what he is…a liar!
That cloud he wants you dreaming about is a lie! It’s not soft, it’s not comfortable, and it’s not safe! It’s a lie and it’s deadly.
After bumping along on that endless flight, we finally broke through the stormy cloud and saw the ground below. Some passengers were nauseous, others were nervous, but all were affected. You can’t choose sin without it affecting your life.
Deceit, the devil dresses it up in every way that will attract us. Recognize the lie.
My Prayer for Today:
Father, give me clear vision into the lies that Satan is putting before me today. Help me to see my life through your eyes. Where there is temptation make it ugly and noticeable. Reveal the lies with your Truth. Thank you Jesus, Amen.
Examine your life and ask God to peel away Satan’s deception to reveal an area that keeps you from surrendering totally to Christ. Then commit to remove the deceit and change your life.
Reflection Points: Knowing that Satan is always trying to deceive you with good-looking fruit, how can you learn to filter all things through Christ’s unchangeable truths?
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV)
Romans 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people. (NIV)
Mark 4:19 but the worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (NIV)
Ephesians 5:6-7 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (NIV)
Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (NIV)
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