Summary: Last week, we saw how deception originated with Satan. He used it on Eve and his MO hasn't changed. We saw how being deceived hurts. And lastly, we saw how deception causes a lot of problems. Today, we'll look at some of the things we can be deceived by.
THE DANGERS OF DECEPTION (part two)
Last week, we saw how deception originated with Satan. Satan used deception with Eve and he hasn't changed his MO since. He is still trying to draw us away from Christ by using lies and deceptions. Being deceived hurts. It especially hurts when it's done by someone we trust. And it also hurts when someone minimizes it and says they were only joking.
And we saw how deception causes a lot of problems. We looked at the story of Jacob and how he deceived, how he got deceived and how it helped his wife Rachel to be willing to deceive. And all of it caused problems. What a tangled web we weave when our desire is to deceive.
Today, we'll look at some of the things we can be deceived by. What can we be deceived by?
Job 15:27-31, “Though his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh, [an indicator of prosperity] he will inhabit ruined towns and houses where no one lives, houses crumbling to rubble. He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the land. He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away. Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return."
The worthless things would include wealth, power, pleasure; things like that. These things have plenty of worldly worth but not spiritual worth. One could be deceived into thinking as long as I have these things I have everything I need when in reality, if you don't have salvation it's all worthless.
Jesus talked about the need to build up treasures in heaven, not treasures on earth for the treasures of earth are temporary and can bring problems where the treasures of heaven are eternal and bring joy and fulfillment. The deceitfulness of wealth will choke the effects of the word in us.
When Jesus explained the parable of the sower to his disciples he said this in Matt. 13:22, "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."
Part of the deceitfulness of wealth is that I think it won't be a hindrance to my spiritual life. I think it won't get in the way of me being able to be effective for Christ. If my focus is on obtaining wealth then my focus will not be on the things of Christ.
There can be many worries of this life when you have wealth. You're worried if the stock market will crash, you're worried about what you have getting stolen or broken, you're worried about making sure you keep what you have and accumulate more. These worries and obsessions take precedence over the word choke it and deprive it of oxygen. Then the word doesn't grow and bear fruit; it eventually starves and dies out.
1st Tim. 6:9-10, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
If my focus is money I will fall into traps. I will fall into the traps of greed and dishonesty. I will involve myself in foolish things to get more money or to spend the money I have on foolish pleasures. If I love money I set myself up for all sorts of evil. Money itself is not evil; it's the love of it that's evil.
And I see that if I am eager for money ie: fanatical about money, I can be deceived to the point that I am led astray from my faith. If that happens I open myself up to becoming one sorry individual.
Verse 17, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."
To clarify-in using terms like wealth and rich it doesn't just pertain to those we might deem as wealthy or rich; it can apply to anyone who loves money or puts their hope in it. Yes, the rich will most likely be the ones who fall into this trap but it's not exclusively them; it can happen to any of us. Nor does this mean that just because you're rich you will fall into this trap. You can be wealthy and not love money.