A Subtle Deception
By Jeff Klick
Has the devil ever lied to you? Have you ever lied to yourself? Have you ever felt very strongly about someone only to find out later that you were wrong? Most of us are wrong at some time or another in our lives! Often, this error involves someone else and what we think of them. One error usually goes like this....
Everybody else is so spiritual but I'm a clod. Everybody else's family is almost perfect and mine is a wreck. Everyone else's marriage is wonderful and I'm stuck in this one. Everyone else's children are so well behaved and mine are so wild, etc. etc. etc. The truth is everyone has problems. If you could spend time in anyone else's home you might just be surprised. Sure, everyone looks good on Sundays, but hey, so do you!
We have a hard time imagining anyone else being as "bad" as we are. Herein lies one of the biggest lies of the devil. The Bible tells us not to compare ourselves with others; for if we do this, we are foolish (2 Cor 10:12). The only accurate standard is obedience to the Lord. What has God told you to do? If you are obeying the voice of your God, then you are on the correct path. When you try to compare yourself, your marriage, or family to others you are using the wrong measuring stick.
If you could look into others' lives you would see many rough areas just like in yours. Couples who you thought never had a harsh word for each other do disagree sometimes. Children who look so neat and obedient on Sunday mornings have an old nature and need the rod just like your children do on Monday! I don't believe I have ever met a couple who did not disagree or argue (I did meet one once who said this, but I think they were lying!). I have never met a perfect child, husband, wife, or family, for we all are being changed from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory (2 Cor 3:18). Sometimes it is an ugly process!
The devil's main weapon against us is deception. He whispers into our minds that we are not worthy, or we are not good enough. We don't pray enough, read enough,or fast enough. We are just not spiritual enough. And you know something, he's right! But it doesn't depend on us. Our performance is not what we are judged on. We are judged on our obedience. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He began a good work in us and He will complete it! We are all masterpieces in process. Ever see a painting half done? How about a statue that wasn't finished yet? It's not always pretty looking. But wait until the master finishes it! Then it will be something to look at!
We are all in different stages of completion by our Master. The enemy loves to whisper into our minds, "look at all those others. See how far you have to go. You are not as far along as them. You are not even good enough to be in the same room as them." And we believe him!! The devil's strategy almost always works. He wants us to get our eyes off of the Master and place ~ them on each other or worse yet, ourselves!
People should group together by vision, purpose, and goals, not on whether they are worthy or not. This church was founded on vision, not worthiness. Who is worthy to stand before the Lord? Who has arrived? Who has all wisdom and truth? No one but the Lord Jesus! When people say they are not good enough to go to Hope, my heart breaks. The devil has lied again, and the bait has been taken. We all stand simply on the basis of faith and by the grace of God, not on the basis of our works. If you see families here you respect, wonderful. A wise man will keep companionship with other wise men but a companion of fools comes to ruin (Prov. 13:20). It's a good thing to be around families you want to be like, but don't listen to the enemy's voice as you do. We are all on the same path of trying to obey the master. Some days we do better than others, so don't compare yourself with others, for it is always a trap.
We all struggle, you are not the only one. The devil lies to all of us, but praise God for His infinite grace and mercy! Let's believe God and quite listening to the lies of our enemy!