I’ve written much about deception and discernment. There is a reason for that. Throughout my life, people have attempted to deceive me, and unfortunately some have succeeded. It’s a very painful experience, especially if the deception comes from someone you love and trust. Most of us can compare war stories and battle scars from those betrayals. The fact that we have to rise up, forgive and move on is content for another blog. It’s a tall order.

The Bible tells us that in the last days deceivers will be rampant. Deception is all around us, whether it’s through all types of media and leaders or neighbors and coworkers. The apostle Peter (1 Peter 2:1-3) warns us that even the church can and will be deceived by false teachers, tares growing along with the wheat, and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

It doesn’t take much to convince us of this. Just look at a typical day on facebook and you can spot false news articles, posts by people who believe lies, friends who have been caught up in deceptive theologies and prophecies. How do I know they’re false? They totally conflict with the Word of God. Not too difficult if the Bible is your foundation.

Recently a friend confronted me, disagreeing with my beliefs. She cited news sources that were so biased to her way of thinking that I laughed out loud. She stated that these were factual and nonpartisan.  But she’s no different than all the rest of us. We follow sources that agree with what we want to be true. What if she is wrong? What if I am wrong? I’m not perfect, but I am closely connected with the One Who is all Truth.

So, we acknowledge deception is alive and well. What do we do to guard against it?

Discernment is a gift, a God-given gift. We pray daily for the Holy Spirit to do in us what He was sent to do in us: counsel, comfort, guide. A person who is not born again, and does not have the Holy Spirit working in and through their life will not have that gift of discerning. That still small Voice speaks warning at critical times. He puts a check in our spirits when we’re headed down a wrong path. He closes doors that are not His path for us. He often opens our eyes to a dangerous leader or teacher that could deceive and lead us astray.

Does this mean that as Christians we will never fall prey to deception? Of course not. We can be so busy, so blindly trudging through our busy lives that we are not open to His promptings. Or, we can hear His warning and decide it can’t be God because thousands of people are agreeing that it’s this way or that. Or maybe it’s not what we were taught growing up.

Unfortunately, today we see people who call themselves Christians who sit in churches with theology that roams far off the path of Biblical truth because the leader is so engaging, so in touch with the folks, that he couldn’t be wrong. The music is great; the fellowship so fun and scripture is used. We see throngs of people who cannot identify when a scripture is twisted or used out of context to manipulate an agenda. Oblivious.

The Lord brings this subject back to me often. He longs to see His people walking in truth and keeping their armors in place, resistant to deception. I am grieved when I see people who do not seek out the Holy Spirit’s leading in their daily lives. I seek it diligently, for it means so much to me to be in His will. Again, I am aware I can make mistakes, but I’ll always be seeking His Truth.

The coming days will produce more deception in the world. The Bible tells us that many will fall prey to the antichrist system and perish because they are deceived by it. I used to wonder how that could possibly happen when good and evil are so opposite. But recently, my eyes have been opened to the vast number of people who call evil good and good evil. Even “Christians.” God says, “Woe to them!” Woe is not good. Woe means unimaginable misery and condemnation. (Isaiah 5:20-21) People who call themselves Christian and distort scripture to make it more popular and unoffending are playing with fire: hell fire.

Deception could be pulling you away from your God. Please go to Him and ask Him to reveal any areas where you might be deceived. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and give you warnings when you are getting off track. Stop, please stop, listening to the world. A crowd mentality leads to destruction. We are chosen, called, and set apart for a reason. We are mandated to bring Light and Truth to a lost and dying world. Without discernment, we are impotent and completely useless to the Kingdom of God.