Deception Illustrated – Predictable Paths

Deception Illustrated – Predictable Paths [TRANSCRIPT]

Jeremiah 17:9-10 says,
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, to give to each person according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

Proverbs 16:25 says,
There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.
Isaiah 45:9 says,
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker - A piece of pottery among the other earthenware pottery pieces! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?

Isaiah 5:20-21 warns us,
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

Isaiah 66:2
“For My hand made all these things, so all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But I will look to this one, at one who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at My word.

The prophet Hosea 14:9 says,
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, but wrongdoers will stumble in them.
Jeremiah 17:7 says,
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD.

I need to find my own truth. The old truths no longer apply, they are a tyranny to free souls.” This sounds like an invitation to freedom, the freedom of self-expression, the freedom of unrestrained autonomy, the freedom of finding your own true self-fulfillment. Yet all of these hide a deceptive trap. To rebel and break away from God’s truth may seem like a clarion call for the soul’s liberation and self-realization, but what remains hidden are the wicked chains at the end of road. Let’s take a trip and see where this path leads and where it ends.

***

(Video clip) – “Well, I got to go take this test. I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“Jerry, just remember. It’s not a lie if you believe it!”

While we may laugh at the character of George Costanza, his antics and his warped philosophy, there’s really more here than meets the eye. It begs the question, “Can the nature of a lie be actually changed by simply believing it hard enough or sincerely enough?

Another way to say it is, “Can a lie become true simply because we want to be true?” This is an important question. I’m sure all of us are aware that in today’s setting, people are espousing the idea that we can maintain sovereignty over what is true. It’s the lie that we’ve been looking at for several weeks. It’s the notion that truth can be whatever I say it is or what I want it to be. I can substitute my idea of truth or some modification or an alternate replacement for God’s truthful Word.

But is such belief tenable? Can an individual or a society actually function and last under a life principle like that. If ideas have consequence, where will this belief take a person or a society? That’s a question I want to explore today.

Now, I understand that most people don’t spend time in their day thinking about such questions. Most people are occupied with just living, getting ahead, doing life or just getting by. Most people I have met have a vague structure of what they believe. Since they haven’t invested time to organize their minds in these matters, their worldview basically consists of their upbringing, their experiences, and the flow of culture. There is a not-so-subtle danger with this flow of life. It’s like the saying, “The danger is not that people will not believe in anything. The danger is that people in the absence of truth, will believe anything.”

This statement takes on the heavy weight of importance when you understand that there is a larger story going other than the one in our immediate surroundings. The story is bigger than you and me. There is an unseen enemy that is set on deception and destruction. And the casualties of that war are many and they are real.

I want to use a couple of stories as illustrative examples to demonstrate how the lie that we can design truth for ourselves actually plays out. I’ve discovered that a story is an effective way to make and clarify a point. The first one, the first story I call, The Rebel Mom.

There once was a young woman and we’ll call her Sally. Now, Sally’s Mom and Dad raised her in a home where she was taught about God, the Bible and the family went to Church. But Sally saw herself as a free spirit. She lived a life of compliance to family rules and ways. But inside, she just couldn’t wait to get out on her own. So, when she got to college, everything changed. She went on a journey of self-discovery. She discovered and embraced new ideas about life and living. She denied herself nothing in her life experiences.

She finished her education, started a career and became successful. She married and her and her husband lived a life sharing the same ideas about life and its enjoyment. She also decided that if she ever had child, she would not force any philosophy or religion on them like her parents had done to her. So, she had a daughter and she raised her just as she had decided.

Now, several years later, her sixteen-year-old daughter comes home and says, “Mom, I’ve found somebody who I truly love. His name is Bobby.” She then brings him in.

There stands Bobby. He’s a man of at least 35 years of age. Now, red lights are going off in mom’s head as she looks at her daughter hanging on to this grown man. Everything in her head says, “This is wrong.”

But she stands there and she realizes that she is powerless to provide any words to communicate to her daughter as to why she has made this wrong choice. She has told herself and her daughter for years that everyone was free to make our own choices and decide right and wrong on their own. And without being able to say why, the mom knows that this will not end well for her daughter. She just doesn’t know how to say it.

Ideas have consequences. The lie of the enemy infects and impacts individual lives.

The second story I call, The Bus. The bus represents a society, a nation, a culture.

Now, before we get on the bus, there’s something you need to know about the world in this journey. The world, being enlightened and reasonable, has decided that objective truth doesn’t exist. Truth is relative and up for discussion and interpretation. And in keeping with that decision, all road signs have been removed. Roads signs are objective truth statements, so therefore they had to be removed.

So, as we get on the bus we begin our journey. Now, when the bus comes to an intersection, being reasonable and enlightened individuals, we take a vote. If 51% says turn right, we turn right. If 51% says turn left, we turn left. If 51% says go straight, we go straight. Now this becomes the way we navigate in our journey. This process continues with every intersection.

Now, after a while a few of the people on the bus who remember the world before, begin to look around. They begin to be a bit troubled and uneasy. The landscape looks unfamiliar. They even begin to believe that the bus is lost. They know and remember that in the front of the bus in the glove box is a map. But again, the map is objective truth so it cannot be used. And though they have accepted the new reality, they can’t shake the feeling that they are lost.

After a while, the longer the feeling of unease and doubts begins to grow in the bus. It gets to the point that some groups seek to take advantage of the situation. Some violence and chaos begin to occur. The stability of the journey begins to come into question.

Being a reasonable and enlightened crowd, many recognize that this instability has created a danger for the continuation of the journey. A man arises and gathers a group around him. He reasons and explains to the group the danger that they are in. Opening his jacket, he tells the group, “I have a gun. I know the way. Follow me.”

Now, in both cases, a journey that began with the promise of freedom ends in a tyranny both individuals and a culture. I don’t know if I need to draw or paint a picture for us to see how this plays out. It is a deceptive lie to believe that we have an individual autonomy and sovereignty over truth and that consequences don’t matter. This path just doesn’t work.

First let me say, be careful who and what you trust as your source for truth. And this includes yourself. God is very clear on this. He knows and He tells us. Jeremiah 17:9-10 says,
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, to give to each person according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

Not every opinion is true. God alone, from the beginning holds sovereignty over truth. And to rebel or deviate from the truth which He has revealed, spells danger to any and all who do so. Proverbs 16:25 says it. “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.” Memorize this. Never forget this. It will protect you even from your own opinion.

Also, recognize and warn those who foolishly buy the deception of any questioning of God’s authority over truth in their lives. Isaiah 45:9 says,
Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker - A piece of pottery among the other earthenware pottery pieces! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?

Really! How foolish to entertain the idea that we are smarter than God, that we somehow understand life and reality better than He does. How dangerous to accommodate the notion that truth can be manipulated, that we can fashion a “narrative” of truth to fit our lifestyle. It is dangerous. The heavenly Father warns against such deception. In Isaiah 5:20-21 He declares this,
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

This warning is there to protect us, to cause us to beware of thinking that we know better than God. Never listen to the liars who seek to deceive with the poison of the enemy.

There is a better way. He has told us so that we could now know and live. Isaiah 66:2 says,
“For My hand made all these things, so all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. But I will look to this one, at one who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at My word.

And again, the prophet in Hosea 14:9 says,
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, but wrongdoers will stumble in them.

Having been given the Word of God, we are made wise in life. As tempting as it may be to be wise in our own opinion or to entertain the lies declared by the enemy in the world around us, we will not be deceived because we have humbled ourselves before the True and the Living God. Jeremiah 17:7 states it clearly for us, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD.

In a world filled with lives in chaos and bondage, the story God writes in the lives of His children is blessed by the freedom of His truth.

We will not believe the lies of the enemy because we have believed and trust in the Lord.

Once more, we see and know that Truth Matters.

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