Be Not Deceived

Do you think you could be deceived by someone?  That is, that you could be led to believe what another person tells you when they are not telling the truth?  Maybe they are trying to sell you something that is not really what they say it is.  Of maybe they are trying to make you believe a story when the story is not true.  Yes, you might be deceived by someone else.  But what about deceiving yourself?  Do you deceive yourself?  Do you convince yourself that your actions are good when they really are not?  Do you tell yourself that you love God when your actions prove otherwise?  Are you confident that you are spiritual when the truth is that you are carnal?  When you deceive yourself that your thoughts and actions are righteous when they are not, you mock God.  God knows your actions, your thoughts, and even the intents of your heart.  Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  You cannot deceive God.

Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”  Are you engaging in sexual immorality and deceiving yourself that your actions are righteous?  As a man, do you look lustfully at a woman and deceive yourself that your thoughts are righteous?  Do you tell a lie or bend the truth and deceive yourself that all is well?  Do you have a strong desire for physical things and deceive yourself that you are spiritual?  Do you spend much time in entertainment and self-pleasure and deceive yourself that you are walking according to the Spirit?  In other words, are you really sowing to the flesh?

Consider a field in which you might plant rice or corn or wheat.  What do you expect to reap from that field?  From the beginning, God has caused each plant to produce after its kind (Genesis 2).  You expect to get rice when you plant rice, and corn when you plant corn, and wheat when you plant wheat?  In the same way, if you sow to your fleshly desires, you will of the flesh reap corruption – that is, decay and eventual spiritual death.  1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”  You were washed, sanctified, and justified by God.  Don’t be deceived that you can continue sowing to the flesh and expect to reap eternal life.

Instead of sowing to the flesh, sow to the Spirit because of the Spirit you will reap life everlasting.  What does it mean to sow to the Spirit?  It means to occupy yourself with spiritual matters.  Romans 8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”  Sowing to the Spirit is contrary to sowing to the flesh.  It might include studying and meditating on His word, prayer, serving God and seeing that His cause is increased, serving those around you, being a spiritual light to others, denying yourself for the cause of Christ, and walking according to the Spirit.  Galatians 5:16-17 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” 

It is easy to see the errors in Biblical characters whose actions sometimes mocked God – characters such as King David when he sinned with Bathsheba, or King Solomon who took so many foreign wives and let them lead him into idolatry, or Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness, or Peter who denied Christ or even Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  It is even easy to see errors in the lives of people around you.  But it is more difficult to see the spirit of mockery in your own life.  Do a self-examination.  2 Corinthians 13:5-6 “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.  But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.” Ask God in prayer to show you where you might be deceived about yourself.  You do not want to be deceived like those that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’   And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Be not deceived.  God is not mocked.  Do not sow to the flesh but sow to the Spirit to reap everlasting life.