Avoiding Deception Trails-S10Ep10
Avoiding Deception Trails
From Mark chapter 13, there are 5 things we can know for sure.
- What We Can Know #1 (vv. 7-8): Jesus said conditions on this planet are not going to get better but worse! We can forget the idea of world peace until He comes back.
- What We Can Know #2 (vv. 9-13): Persecutions and betrayals will affect Christians until Jesus returns. He will give us strength to endure them plus the words to say. And, we are not to be afraid.
- What We Can Know #3 (vv. 14-23): This great time of worldwide, massive tribulation hasn’t happened yet. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was not the worst that had happened before that or even since that time. It is still to come.
- What We Can Know #4 (vv. 24-27): Jesus is physically coming back to planet Earth, and no one is going to miss it. Isn’t that good news? We just don’t know when He is returning.
- What We Can Know #5 (vv. 33-37): Jesus is leaving His disciples behind with certain responsibilities. To them and to all of us, He says, “Stay alert.”
- In Mark 13, Jesus warned that a disciple’s greatest danger is not war, calamity, persecution, or betrayal. It is deception.
Watch out that no one deceives you.
- Deception affects the direction our minds are going and our bodies follow. The further we get into the last days and the more complex society gets, the easier it is to be deceived.
- Our Bible is like a map that gives us an aerial view of the right trail following Jesus as well as all the wrong ones. And, the Holy Spirit is our compass, always orienting us to Jesus and His way. Without relying on our map and compass, we can easily be deceived. 2 Corinthians 11:3
- We have a spiritual enemy, and deceiving us is one of his best means for making us ineffective at pursuing Christ completely. We put all our energy going in the wrong directions. Let’s call those deception trails.
- Deception trails are anything that wastes our time, energy and money by sending us in a direction away from our responsibilities as a disciple that Jesus mentioned in Mark 13. These are knowing Christ and following Him only plus being His witnesses as we let Him live His life through us. When we choose to make certain mistakes, we become vulnerable to deception trails.
Deception trail #1 is to ignore the map and compass and go by how you feel.
- Emotions can distract us because they are responders. They will line up with anything we want them to match. Relying on how we feel about something rather than on the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide us makes us vulnerable to being deceived.
- Trust the Holy Spirit to help you find a New Testament verse that teaches truth about any issue. Then, let your emotions respond to God’s Word.
Deception trail #2 is thinking great gear and a great body guarantee a great hike.
- Hikers in perfect physical shape with very expensive boots and equipment still get blisters on the trail and altitude sickness. Having a nicer home, newer car, or stylish clothes and a better body will not make us happier.
- The more serious deception is that pleasing our physical senses should take priority in our lives so we will be strong enough to get through life. We need to predetermine what will take priority before we’re bombarded with others’ demands. Or, the lesser things will dominate. We can ask Jesus to help us prioritize our lives because He shows us how.
Deception trail #3 is to assume all signposts are accurate.
- Jesus warned His disciples twice in Mark 13 about listening to other voices instead of His voice. What tricks is our culture doing to influence our thinking? And, how does our response affect those around us?
- Some cultural signposts are misleading, maybe even rotten at the bottom. They keep us from being effective at following Jesus.
- Paul warned about a time when people will not put up with sound doctrine but will gather around them teachers what say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
- Ask Jesus to help you be a good doorkeeper of your mind and mouth. Compare what you are being told with what God’s Word says. Colossians 2:8
- An important trail rule is for hikers in a group to stay within sight and sound of the leader. As believers, we need to stay within sight and sound of Jesus’ voice, which are the Bible and the Holy Spirit within us. When we don’t, we make ourselves vulnerable to following a deception trail.
- What changes do you need to make today to keep you alert to deceptions and to rely on your map and compass so that you can hike Jesus’ trail effectively?
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with hope, healing, and love as you get to know Him and trust Him more each day.