I have to tell you the truth about deceit. I don’t tell the story often because I was duped. It’s not fun to tell people you believed lies and fell in love with a complete deceiver. But, I did.
When I was in my early twenties, I met a wolf in sheeps clothing. He was short, dark and not handsome. I say that now, but at the time I thought he was. Anyway, I fell in love with what I saw and what he told me he was.
I met him at church and he was on stage preaching the word of God. He seemed so confident and mysterious. He didn’t get too close to anyone at first and would always bolt out the door as soon as he was finished preaching.
But I wanted to know him. And in all honesty, I wanted to be his wife.
This man eventually started to take an interest in me. I was beside myself. My prayers were answered. This must be what God planned for my life.
But right away God spoke to my heart and told me no. I didn’t understand and when I told my new love interest what I felt in my heart, he talked me out of it. He shared Bible verses with me and would grab my hand and tell me what God was “really” saying about our relationship.
He manipulated me with God’s word and because I didn’t know it as well, I believed him. I let him pull me away from God’s truth and he became my voice of truth.
So, I stayed with him for four long, miserable years and spiraled into anxiety and depression like never before. I didn’t know what was true anymore.
The Truth About Deceit
The crazy thing about deceit is that it has truth in it. Deceit manipulates the truth so that the person seems validated.
When Adam and Eve were in the garden, the serpent deceived Eve by handling the truth of God’s word and distorting it. He quoted the Word and added to it. Go back to Genesis 3 and read the first six verses to get a glimpse of their conversation.
The Bible tells us in John 8:44 that the devil is a liar and there is no truth in him. He cannot speak anything but deceit. If anyone is a deceiver, they are from their father the devil.
It just confirms that the root of deceit has a birthing place: the enemy. He wants to keep us in a state of questioning God’s word and being tossed about because we lack truth.
Mature Believers Have a Foundation of Truth
I was raised in church and had what I call “surface knowledge”. I knew about God’s word but I didn’t truly understand it or even apply it. Therefore, I was easily deceived. This is called immaturity as a Christian.
Ephesians 4:14-15 says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
The Truth sets us apart. It helps us grow in Christ. It matures us and firmly plants us and roots us so that we are like trees planted by streams of water so that we cannot be moved.
When this love interest of mine was in my life, I was easily swayed. My emotions were all over the place. My beliefs were out of line with God’s word. I relied on him for knowledge and didn’t trust that God was speaking to me because this man handled the words of God so well and used them to manipulate me.
Deceit. It’s truly powerful in it’s own right.
Do You Listen to Truth?
There’s a story in the Bible that I absolutely love and there’s one line in it that burns in my memory. It’s a simple question. “What is truth?”
That question was asked by Pilate. In reality, he didn’t really want to know the answer because truth, Jesus, was staring him in the face and he denied Him. Jesus said these words in John 18:37-38, “I was born to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
We live in an information age. We have knowledge at our fingertips. With a press of a button or the right search engine, you can find out anything you want to know within seconds. But we must ask ourselves, “Is it truth?”
Today, the truth of God’s word is being challenged like never before. People are asking the same questions the deceiver asked in the garden: “Did God really say …” And, “Surely God didn’t mean …”
And like Pilate, many sit around when faced with the truth and ask, “What is truth?” Because they think if they plead ignorance they won’t have to take responsibility.
That’s one of the biggest lies the enemy wants us to swallow.
I don’t like how I learned the lesson of deceit in my early twenties. But I’m glad I learned it. God taught me that His truth will only become my truth if I’m willing to obey it. It was my fault I was fooled by a deceiver. God presented truth and I pleaded ignorance because I didn’t want to do what He told me.
In the end, the man was previously married and had children. He never exposed his double life to me and lived far enough away where he could pull it off. The appearance of what he was made him well respected in the church and because he handled truth, he validated every word that came out of his mouth. Just like the enemy.
My challenge to you today is to know God’s word. Make sure you don’t take someone else’s interpretation of it or regurgitate their words as if they are your own. God will reveal truth to you as you seek Him for it.
We must arm ourselves with the truth or we will be deceived. If you go to Ephesians 6, you will see the belt of truth is one of the pieces of armor we must put on. If we know it, understand it, and apply it, we are walking in truth and will impact those around us.
Seek Truth. Live Truth. Speak Truth.
Hey, my friend! Part of this lesson is inspired by lesson 7 in Reflections of Eve, Deadly Conversation. You can order it here.
Also, have you read one of my favorite blog posts titled “To@#&*$^ is a Bad Word”? Check it out here.