Deception To Darkness

Is it the truth, or is it a lie? Is it the Real, or is it a counterfeit? If we don’t want to fall for deception, then we most definitely must continuously ask ourselves these questions when evaluating something, especially something spiritual. Jesus often warned us about being alert, on guard, ready, and awake. Matt. 24:11,24 records Him as saying, “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people… For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect –if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.”

Yes, Jesus warns us ahead of time. Because our initial response to something is important. One response begets the next response… and so on. Is it not correct that once a person refuses truth, he has chosen error? And to adhere to error is a slide into the purposeful attempt to then believe the error in order to justify one’s reason to choose the error. Thus, in doing so, the person has deliberately chosen to be deceived. And once a person is deceived, how is he to snap out of it? An outside source has to present to him the truth. However, once deception has a firm grip on a deceived one’s mind, life, and emotions, how likely is it for the choice to then be made to lay aside the error and accept the truth? Not likely.

Some of us would think, “Why would anyone choose to be deceived?” But after thinking about it, we realize there’s literally a host of reasons one would do so. One top reason I can think of is this: To relieve a lust. It could be a lust for power, fame, food, addiction, another person, wealth, comfort, etc. But at the core of all this, is FEELING. People are willing to give up truth for a feeling. And whatever enables the feeling, go for it. Or so our culture tells us. And many buy into it. Even when they know, and have even experienced, an emptiness later. Even when they know the feeling didn’t satisfy for long, and actually makes one intensely desire it even more often and in ever larger quantities.

This, I believe, is what is happening concerning people’s spiritual hunger. And why are they even hungering after the spiritual? There again, it can be the result of many things; I’m sure not just one. Kind of like when I taught… We used to rack our brains in trying to pinpoint the reason for the overall downward spiral of students’ performance. We’d guess, too much T.V., not enough creative activities at home, absent parents, dysfunctional parents, one-parent homes, too much state testing, faulty curriculum, too many worksheets, not enough interactive lessons, recess, no recess, too much competition, no competition… But since we couldn’t decide what the main cause was, we certainly couldn’t agree on how to fix the problem (even if we’d have had the means or power to do so.)

So, this spiritual hunger? What’s going on? Why are people rushing toward the spiritual? Even if it’s of the dangerous sort? I believe the “many reasons” include a void left when one realizes that all this materialism and affluence hasn’t satisfied. That all this technology which is supposed to make one’s life easier doesn’t make one happier. That all this opportunity for numerous sexual rendezvous leave one numb and disillusioned. In fact, the more spoiled one is, the more likely he or she is to be depressed. So then what happens? Well, the search is on for new experiences in order to fill the void feeling. And what’s new? What’s new to the many who have grown up with intellectualism, reason, science, and cold hard facts as gods? The mystical! That’s what’s new! The secret is out!

So, society at large clamors to get in on it. Like it’s a fad. And it doesn’t help that talk of “power” revolves around the excitement. Talk of a purpose to one’s life, and guarantees of achieving one’s potential, arriving at one’s destiny. Meditation methods are taught as the means by which to acquire all this. But the biggest draw of mysticism seems to be its lure of stimulating feelings of love and euphoria. This is especially attractive in our day of strained, difficult, and/or lost relationships. “Love? Ecstasy? A feeling of being one with the divine? Of being one with the rest of creation? Just through methods of prayer, worship, contemplation, and stillness? Hmmm…. I think I’ll try that.”

And so they try it. And it indeed produces something tingly, something supernatural, something blissful. And there they go. Down the road of mysticism. Down the road of deception. Hand in hand with those beautiful, oh so loving, “angels of light.” (See 2 Cor. 11:14)

But where does the road end? The same place where all but the True Road ends. Death. Despair. And eternal DARKNESS.

So, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” (1 John 4:1) And do not test them by ASKING them, like some teachers have suggested! “Spirits of falsehood” (v.6) lie! They belong to Satan who as Jesus tells us in John 8:44 “is a liar and the father of lies.” Instead, test them against Scripture, the Word of God, the “God who cannot lie.” (See Titus 1:2 & Heb. 6:18) Therein is where we will find our Creator, our Heavenly Father, our Savior, our Deliverer, our Pure Love, our Good Shepherd. And our thirst will be quenched, our spiritual hunger satisfied.

But alas! too few believe it. Thus the continual hungry search in all the wrong places… because Truth has been refused –to make way for the counterfeit.

with love,


~ by smilesback on September 20, 2009.

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