We have an ongoing search in our house…a search for tadpoles! Isaac our youngest son has taken a liking to these wiggly little critters and has been eagerly awaiting tadpole breeding season. Over the months we have investigated every pond, creek, stream and trickle of water, and recently we thought we had been successful in our search. There was much jubilation and excitement at our find, until we realised the wiggly brown creatures we had collected and were now breeding, were not tadpoles at all, but funny looking fish.
“All was not as it appeared”.
How often in life do we discover that “all is not as it appears”, and people, places and situations are not in fact what they look like? Sometimes we are deceived and fooled into believing things that are not true, because of what is presented to us. People appear one way, but they are not being who they really are, others say things, but their words are full of deception, businesses, holiday destinations, and those selling their wares, post pictures but what you find when you arrive or buy their goods is that they look nothing like what was presented to you.
The reason for all not being as it appears is that before there was the TV and Hollywood illusionists and magic artists, there was a master of both illusion and deception – the devil. Illusionists major in the art of optical illusion. They divert your attention away from what’s really happening, getting you distracted, so that they can implement their tricks, and make something that is not real appear real.
The devil first appeared to mankind as a serpent -an illusion; when he deceived and tricked both Adam and Eve into believing he was merely looking out for their best interests, and as a result this caused them to question whether God had their best interests on His heart. (Genesis 3:3-5)
He hasn’t changed much, and Jesus nailed it himself when he called him the Father of lies, with no good in him. (John 8:44) Sadly he has trapped, enslaved and influenced people into his way of life, which is why there are so many who operate, live and gain favour and success through their lies and deception. But the devil and those trapped into playing by his rules, have no real power over those who love and follow Jesus. They are only able to gain influence over us by the power of illusion, and their ability to deceive us through intimidation techniques. The devil deals in fear, and his main weapon is deception. Someone has said that fear is an acronym for: False Evidence Appearing Real, and that sums it up fairly well.
But Jesus said, “Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you ”. (Luke 10:19)
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectaclevof them, triumphing over them by the cross”. (Colossians 2:15)
That masquerading serpent has no power over a child of God, other than what we surrender to him. He has no way to hurt, or destroy us, except what we give him permission to. He sadly uses people’s weaknesses and own fears to cause them seek to deceive and lead astray others for their own gain. A business deal which is shady; a man or woman who pretends they are something they are not, so as to gain their way into a persons heart and life, only to leave in their wake shattered dreams and broken hearts.
The devil takes something that may look like facts, but is not truth, and attempts to get us to believe it. A Doctors report, our family history, the bad news press, people’s negative words; they may contain facts, but the orchestrator behind their illusion and “bad news” knows that facts must give way to the truth.
His goal is to cause us to believe his lies; to take that which is not real, and convince us it is real so that we will act upon it. If he can get us to believe his illusions, his intimidation, his lies, we essentially will destroy ourselves. How? Because we will be intimidated into giving up on our hopes, dreams, our vision, and the promises of God. Instead we will walk away grieving at what was lost, settle for far less than God ever planned for us, and be fooled and deceived by something or someone who is not what they appear.
Today, I encourage you to seek wisdom, and God who does not change like shifting shadows. What he says, He will do. He will reveal the truth and change the facts to line up with what He says. If you ask, He will give you eyes and ears to see and hear the truth, and who and what is real, and what is deception.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. (James 1:5)
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows ” (James 1:7)
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever ”. (Hebrews 13:8)
Prayer: Lord I ask that you give me wisdom and discernment so that I will no longer be “taken in”, and deceived by situations or people who are not what they appear. Help me Lord to seek and know the truth, so that I can be secure in the knowledge that all is in fact what it looks like. In Jesus name Amen.