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Posts Tagged ‘Deceiving Ourselves’

Would it be possible you are not ‘stepping up to the plate’, to be everything God intended you to be, because you have some warped idea of what humility is?

Let me try and explain.  Humility in the Bible is often mentioned in the context of repentance and being a servant of the Lord.  It is taking a lowly position for the grace and forgiveness of the Lord to come into your life(and mine) and also so that the Lord can use you for His great pleasure.  In contrast, a prideful heart in these situations leads to no repentance, no grace and no forgiveness and also, God is not able to use you for His purposes.  This is easy to see and understand but its application in our lives is often hindered by our own sinful nature.

A Warped Humility

But what if you aren’t stepping into the things of God because you think that if you do, you will be drawing attention to yourself and therefore no longer qualify to be humble.  I mean, somehow, you’ve picked up a kind of  ‘warped or false sense of humility’ that is constipating the things of God in your life.

Are you getting what I am trying to say?

Now on the surface of things, this thinking might sound honourable (to you), but going under the surface, it is a lie and deception of the Devil straight from the pit of Hell.

Am I being a bit strong about this?

I don’t believe so.  You see, this ‘warped humility’ stands in the way of God’s plans and purposes for your life.  It is a barrier or a stumbling block for ‘God’s Kingdom come’ in your life.  Therefore it is ‘anti’-Christ in your life.

Humility is a State of the Heart!

You see, humility is a state of the heart and not the head.  It’s a position of the heart out of which everything else flows.  If you are stumbling over ‘warped humility’ ask yourself these questions:

Do I still have a prideful heart? In other words, are things still all about me?

Have I been deceived in my mind? In other words, has my head deceived my heart?

Am I still preoccupied by the ‘perceptions of men’? In other words, am I concerned about whether others will see my actions as prideful?

It’s All About God!

It’s all about God.  Life is all about God.  It’s not about you(and me) so stop focussing on yourself in whatever form that might be!

Forget about youself and be FREE to be who God meant you to be.

We are Meant to be Radiant!

In reality, we are meant to be radiant, and stand out, and to be salt and light in this wicked world.  We’re meant to shine the light of the glory of God into this darkened place.

BE YOU!

Step into the destiny that God has for you and radiate His glory.   Get over this ‘warped humility’, this stumbling block of Satan and start glorifying the Lord with the plans and purposes that He has for your life!

You were Meant for Greatness in the Eyes of the Lord!

Amen

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On any given day, scan the news, and look closely at what you find – supposedly ‘normal’ people doing extremely evil things.  Take today, for example, a child sex ring has been exposed and, so called, normal people are found out to be leading double lives and the parents of the children are horrified.  Or maybe the story of the soldier in Iraq who, with his friends, killed an Iraqi family and raped and killed their daughter.  I could go on and on and on.  And all of us would be horrified.  There is so much evil lurking in the shadows, lurking in the hearts of men and women, that needs to be brought out into the light.

But here is the thought, we are quick to point the finger, but the truth be known, each one of us is inherently wicked.  Each one of us has the potential within us to be the most horrenously wicked man or woman on this earth.  Look at the atrosities of war – normal people become monsters!

It is not until we come to the fact that it is not everyone else who has a problem but we are all part of the problem. Jesus highlighted our sin condition.  He said “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother  will be subject to judgment.” (NIV) [Matt 5:21-22]  And here, Jesus says:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’   But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (NIV) [Matt 5:27-30]

We(ie: the human race) are the problem!  We all need Jesus to transform us from the inside out.  There is no other solution to our human condition.  Each one of us needs to come to the place of acknowledging our sinful condition and repenting and inviting Jesus to come into our lives and transform our very beings, from the inside out, by His Spirit.  There is no other way!

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The human condition(ie: the sin condition) and the human heart

Relevent Verses:
Jer 17:9
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (NKJV)
Prov 21:2
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes”… (NKJV)
Prov 14:12
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (NKJV)
Prov 3:5
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” (NKJV)
Prov 28:26
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,” (NKJV)
Matthew 15:19
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” [ESV]

The below are comments from blogger Binu Abraham (he says it very well):

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These verses don’t exactly paint a picture of the type of heart that most people tell us to listen to, does it? That’s because “the heart” that we’re told to listen to is not the type of heart that we actually have. Our heart is sinful; it’s often self-centered, deceiving, and the root of evil. And yet many of us use this very heart in making decisions and finding direction in life. Listen to what Spurgeon has to say about the heart:

“There have been men who have asserted that sins are merely accidents of man’s position. But the Savior says they come out of his heart. Some have affirmed that they are mistakes of his judgment—that the social system bears so harshly at certain points that men can scarcely do otherwise than offend—for their judgment misleads them. The Savior, however, traces these offenses not to the head and its mistaken judgments, but to the heart and its unholy affections. He plainly tells us that the part of human nature which yields such poisonous fruit is not a bough which may be sawn off, a limb which may be cut away—but the very core and substance of the man—his heart.”

The heart is wicked, but so many of us live according to it. David confesses “surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” The heart, the core of who we are, has always been sinful and needs to be transformed. This can only be accomplished by trusting in Jesus, the sinless one, to transform us from the inside out. Our heart needs to be broken and reshaped to reflect the character of Jesus. This process begins at the moment we are born-again through faith, and it continues as we are in fellowship with Him and dying to ourselves – daily.

David pleads: “create in me a clean heart, O God…” and that needs to be our prayer as well. We need to understand, as David did, that such change can only happen when God works in and through our lives.

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What is your drug of choice?

A Christian blog seems, kind of, not the place to be talking about such things – doesn’t it?  Let me put this another way, how do you medicate your soul?  What do you do to sooth the pain of your loneliness, rejection, disconnectedness, inadequacy, inner longing for love, anxiety, suffering?

It seems, especially younger people, try to go from one temporary high to the next.  Whether your drug or choice is illegal, or whether it is alcohol or sex, or continuous partying, or spending, or however else you get your hit, it is a focussing on yourself to make you feel better.

The Bible is very wise about such things.  First off, it says we all have a knowledge of God built into our hearts it’s just that some of us choose to ignore that knowledge because we are in rebellion against Him – God cramps our style.

Secondly, the Bible says that we will never truly be happy unless we die to ourselves.  That is, we take the focus off ourselves and we serve God and serve others.

Thirdly, God can give us what is missing in our lives.  This world cannot ever satisfy the inner longings of our beings.  Only God can make us whole.  Only God can fill us with an inexpressible joy and completeness in our souls.

The invitation is always there.  God is a very gracious God.  He does not force us to come to Him.  He has made a way for us to come to Him and that is through His son Jesus.  Jesus bore the wrath and judgement of God for our sins on the cross.  If you are willing, God can open your eyes, right now, to this truth.

Repent, turn away from your sins, accept Jesus into your heart, be born again, and start living for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Your soul will never be thirsty again.

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The Ultimate Deception

Well, perhaps, ‘The Ultimate Deception’ may not be the best way of putting things.  Maybe an appropriate title may also be ‘The Saddest Deception’ or ‘The Worst Deception’ or ‘The Most Worrying Deception’ or ‘The Most Concerning Disception’ or ‘The Most Disturbing Deception’.

Could these following words of Jesus be indicating and enlightening us to ‘The Ultimate Deception?

Jesus said…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!
[Matt 7:21-23] (NIV)

The question is, could we live out our faith in total deception of knowing Christ? Could we so deceive ourselves about our faith and walk in Jesus that when we meet Him face to face He will say to us I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!‘ ? What an eternal shock that would be!

Well, unfortunately the text says MANY will be self deceived into thinking that they know Christ and Christ knows them.  Even those who have a hand in prophecy and deliverance and miracles.  This is not a teaching or a parable of Jesus but a hard and concerning truth.  This is a vital truth for us to understand. Who is the MANY?  What is their self deception?

Here are a number of verses to pray about.

Rom 8:9
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (NIV)

John 3:3-7
3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
(NIV)

Matt 25:1-12
25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.
(NIV)

Note: Oil in the Bible is a symbol for the Holy Spirit.

Finally…

In 2 Cor 13:5 the Bible says:
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test? (NIV)

May the Spirit bring you revelation and enlightenment and salvation today, in Jesus name, Amen

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Continued on from ‘Deceiving Ourselves’

The Devil doesn’t have to work hard to deceive us, we do a great job all by ourselves!

Sin

Another big area where we deceive ourselves is with sin.  Deliberately doing things we know are wrong in the eyes of the Lord.  We deceive ourselves because we pretend God does not exist or that He can’t see or hear in those moments.

Gal 6:7 says:
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (NIV)

God cannot be mocked!

Secret and deliberate sin by a believer is mocking God!  It’s treating God like a fool, it’s treating God with contempt.  “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good” [Prov 15:3].   We cannot fool God!  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” [Heb 4:13]  In our moments of sin we cannot pretend God does not exist!  “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” [Luke 12:2]  We deceive ourselves bigtime!  “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. [Luke 12:3] And then, this dishonesty with God and with ourselves leaves no room for repentance because we are in denial and self deception. “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” [Luke 12:4-5]

Friends, we need to get honest with ourselves and repent!

It’s only when we get honest with ourselves that repentance and revival will flow.  It’s only when we see ourselves in the light and purity and the majesty of our Lord Jesus that our masks will fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces.

In the light of Christ, we need to examine ourselves

2 Cor 13:5
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test? (NIV)

1 Cor 11:27-30
27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30
That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (NIV)

Lam 3:40
40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. NIV

Jer 17:9-10
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.
” NIV

Ps 26:2-3
2 Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
3 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
NIV

Ps 17:3
3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. NIV

Ps 11:5-7
5 The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulphur; a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.
NIV

Heavenly Father, I am so sorry, I have treated you like a fool.  Thank you for showing me the areas in my life that need your touch and restoration.  Lord I have been deceiving myself, I have been playing games with myself.  Lord, today, I can see my sin and I repent of my sin.  Holy Spirit keep examining my ways to find any further sin and deception and dishonesty.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Deceiving Ourselves Part III

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In my last blog I said this…

The Devil doesn’t have to work hard to deceive us, we do a great job all by ourselves!

I believe the Lord is challenging all of us who are self deceived to WAKE UP!

But how could anyone be self deceived?  How is it possible to deceive ourselves?  Surely we know everything about ourselves and it would be impossible to deceive ourselves.  Maybe we can deceive others about our Christian faith from time to time but DECEIVING OURSELVES, come on!  This would be like playing a game with ourselves, wouldn’t it?  Is there Biblical evidence about this?  Well, let me start with a few Bible verses; this is a good place to start.

James 1:22 warns:
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV)

So YES, it appears we can deceive ourselves.  What an important truth this verse is.  We can deceive ourselves into thinking that merely hearing the Word of God is enough.  In reality merely hearing the Word of God is no where near enough!  So those of us who fill ourselves with the Word of God and don’t apply it to our lives and don’t do what it says are living deceived; we are living a lie.  We can say the Devil didn’t deceive us; we deceived ourselves! We are playing games with ourselves.  We aren’t being honest with ourselves.  The Word of God is not being allowed to do what it always does and that is, bringing repentance and change and action.  The Word of God always challenges and always demands a response. So those who merely hear the Word of God and don’t do what it says, sit in there own deception.  The Devil doesn’t have to worry about us at all because we are asleep in our comfy chair.

1 Cor 3:18 warns:
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. (NIV)

So we can deceive ourselves about the estimate of our wisdom.  What is this?  This is perhaps the number one killer of the Lord working in our lives.  It is pride coming in, it is pride in our own wisdom.  In Obadiah’s vision in verse 3 of Obadiah it says, “The pride of your heart has deceived you“.  This is very interesting, THE PRIDE IN OUR HEARTS DECEIVES US.  We can be blinded and deceived by our pride. ‘If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself’. (Gal 6:3)

Here is another area where we deceive ourselves, James 1:26 warns:
26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. NIV

We deceive ourselves about our faith and our right standing with God when we don’t control our tongue, that is, we use our tongues for slandering, gossip, grumbling and discouragement.  If we don’t control our tongue our ‘religion’ or faith is useless or worthless. Prov 15:4 says The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. The James quote isn’t complete without looking at Verse 27 as it defines what what true ‘religion’ (true faith) is… 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. NIV

To be continued…

Deceiving Ourselves Part II

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