22nd SEPTEMBER 2022
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” – Isaiah 5:21
One major hindrance against the work of Grace in our lives is “self-deceit”. This happens when we deliberately lie to ourselves or are sentimental about life’s ordinary things or basic spiritual tenets and obligations. Not minding the fact that we suffer being deceived from time to time by external sources, our hearts are also deceitful—so much so that we easily fool ourselves.
Some believe they know it all and tend to look down on others. They talk so loud about their presumed knowledge as they either rubbish or vehemently kick against the opinion and work of others and claim superior knowledge in matters beyond their reasonable understanding. By so doing, they forget that only empty vessels make the loudest noise. Stop lying to yourself!
The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and others; having no respect, he ceases to love altogether. The Grace of God is meant to strengthen us and make us strong in areas of our weaknesses, but if we already adopted a lying posture or pretended through self-deceit to be solid or full of knowledge, we do not benefit from the excellent work of Grace. One root cause of self-deception is arrogance. The scripture says, “The pride of your heart has deceived you” (Obadiah 1:3).
Human pride always blinds to the truth; It promises honour, but it delivers disgrace. The Bible says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). The second root cause is absolute disregard for the “doing of the word of God” For instance, if you are praying for the wellbeing of anyone, back it up with physical activity. Therefore, if you are praying for the poor, also feed and clothe them. That is what makes prayer work. Prayer and action create manifestation. Don’t just pray without doing anything to help in the physical; otherwise, you deceive yourself.
Flowing with the spirit is not all about accumulating truth in our minds; it’s about putting the word of truth into action. Therefore, if we read the scriptures and do not do the word of God, we deceive ourselves. James 1:22 warns us against deceiving ourselves: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Empty religion allows a person to employ his bodily members and his material resources toward self-centred objectives. But God approves of “faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).
Beloved, self–deception is disastrous, for you alone are accountable. The word of God is telling you today to avoid self-righteousness or self-judgment. Stop self–referential or a syndrome of measuring yourself with yourself, or comparing yourself to yourself. Those who do that are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Starting today, employ humility in your affairs, and open yourself to guidance by the Holy Spirit so that you can tap into the Grace of God at all times. Become radically committed to measuring your life by what the scriptures call us to do and be, and by nothing else. Listen carefully to criticisms about your person – especially those who openly oppose you. This should serve you best because open complaints usually do not spare your feelings and are spoken honestly, even harshly. Make Psalms 139:23-24 your fervent prayer all the time.
In addition, remember that Jesus is always here for us, ready to show us the WAY and make us STRONG when we are lost or weak.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. AMEN
FURTHER READING: 1 Corinthians 3:18