How Can We Tell if We Have Been Deceived?

Every now and then, we come across people whose behavior leaves us speechless. There is so much madness happening all over the world that I sometimes ask myself: “Is this the character of the person or is he completely deceived by Satan?” Many people around the world seem to shut their eyes to the absurdity of what is happening around us and simply accept what is about to happen even if they could change it.

We as Christians know what is coming to the world at large, and to us as well, and that Satan is the deceiver of this world. Revelation 12:9 says: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

We have been teaching time and again that it is very dangerous to become lazy, overconfident, selfish, or even arrogant, and that a person will never find their way out of the mire of self-deception on their own. We also have been explaining repeatedly that a deceived person does not know that he is deceived.

However, we are obligated to make sure that we recognize Satan’s tactics of deception, and we know that we can counter them with the power of God. We must ensure that Satan’s deception does not take hold of our hearts and trick us into believing that the wrong way is righteous and good. 

Solomon warns us firmly against this in Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

So, what would be a good remedy to get to the bottom of Satan’s deception, even if we do not know whether we are deceived?

One of the best remedies is “Humility and the Fear of the LORD.”

In the fifth book of Psalms, we read in chapter 111 and verse 10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Solomon had the same insight in Proverbs 1:7, where he wrote: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…”

It is through the power of God, through our humility and through the fear of the LORD that God will help us to obtain the possibility of understanding and open our eyes to whether there is something wrong in our hearts and whether something can or should be improved.

If we neither have nor desire this humility and the fear of the LORD in us, there is a terrible answer: “Because they hated knowledge And did not choose to fear the LORD, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies” (Proverbs 1:29-31).

Another method to recognize possible deception is “Self-Examination.”

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

James also explains to us in James 1:22-25 that we must be on our guard against precisely this kind of self-deception:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

We should always keep in mind that love is the supreme characteristic of God’s perfect law.

It is therefore crucial that we all examine ourselves again and again. Let’s try to have a genuine look in the mirror and take a close look at ourselves and ask ourselves: “Am I pleasing God and Jesus Christ with my lifestyle? Is everything really okay, or am I doing something wrong? Should I change something about myself?”

If we ask God for His help, we might easily come to a new realization. There is always something to do within and about us!

I truly wish all of us the strength and courage to take a good look at our mirror image and gain new insights.

Initial Translation from the German: Daniel Blasinger

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