Evil, wrong, false words, advice and thoughts con concerning behavior, habitual sin, or the second coming, false gods, the consequences of sin, and letting fatigue make me give up. This is the list of deception sources in today’s Bible verses. I can easily see how my experience proves they are definitely capable of deception, but may not have added the last one to the list.
Here are the verses: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light . . .” (Ephesians 5:6–14)
The next passage says, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:7–10)
The one about the second coming says, “ . . . we ask you not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed . . .” (2 Thessalonians 2:1–4)
The passage about consequences has both a warning and a promise. I feel tired today, but both are motivating me to keep my focus: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:7–10)
Yesterday was emotionally draining. I learned that a friend’s husband has been given two months to live. Also, some friends of ours are in grief because one of their friends is missing and presumed drowned. The situation in Iraq and other parts of the world becomes more dreadful each day. How do I pray for these things?
The spiritual enemy and liar does not want me to pray at all, or at least be deceived into praying at the ceiling. What I want for His people needs to line up with what God wants, and right now, praying the will of God is hard and fatiguing work. I do want to give up, but am exhorted to not be fooled. God hears and answers prayer. Do not give up doing this good thing.
I don’t know how God will answer, but He is telling me not to let this drained out fatigue deceive me into hopelessness. Keep on. Keep on praying.