How do we avoid being deceived?
In my last post, I wrote about the importance of not being deceived, especially when it comes to where temptation comes from. That post led to the question I opened this post with: How do we avoid being deceived?
How do we come to realize when our enemy is trying to deceive us?
How do we become more aware of his schemes before we fall for them?
These questions led me to a familiar and important passage. Luke 4:1-13 is the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Jesus models in these verses what is important in defeating the deceptions of our enemy.
The devil came to Jesus at a time of weakness, when Jesus would have been more susceptible to deceptions or, at least, when the devil thought He would be. The devil tempted Jesus in two ways: 1) he tried to use Scripture in a way that wasn't quite right, and 2) he offered Jesus what would seem to be good things, but in the end would give the devil license in His life. These are two tactics the devil uses in us too.
Jesus countered all of this with the truth of Scripture. He knew what Scripture actually said, so He wasn't caught by the almost right, but slightly off quotes from the devil. Jesus defeated to the devil in this situation with the truth of Scripture.
This is so important for us too. Our enemy isn't going to use something that's really out there to try to get us. He's going to look for ways he can use something that seems really close to the truth, but is just wrong enough to get us off course if we fall for it. And, it we don't know Scripture, if we don't know the truth intimately, we'll be far more likely to fall for the devil's deceptions.
The only way we can avoid falling for the deceptions is to know the truth well. Just as Jesus know what Scripture actually said well enough to spot the places where the devil was twisting it, we need to as well. We need to know the truth so well, we can see when something is eve just a little bit off.
This the only way we can avoid being deceived.