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The Danger of Deception – Words to Live by

Dr. Lonnie G. McCowan, pastor of Miracle Center of Ventura

Dr. Lonnie G. McCowan, pastor of Miracle Center of Ventura

By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan

Deception starts by hearing voices. What you hear is the key to your success or defeat. You cannot hear the wrong voices and make the right choices. Whoever gets your ear gets your heart; whoever gets your heart gets your life. Out of your heart comes the issues of your life, the Bible says. In other words, life comes through you, not to you.

2 Corinthians 11:14 warns us that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. “Oh, this feels so right,” is what we say if we are under deception of the devil’s way of thinking. The counterfeit will look good.

The worst thing about deception is you don’t know you are being deceived. You think you are right. That’s why it is each of our responsibility to go to the Bible. 1 Thessalonians 5:21warns us to “test all things, and hold firmly to that which is good.”

The world accepts the devil’s counterfeit, but, like a mirage, it disappears. Try to grasp it and it is gone. Satan does not come in a red suit and pitchfork, knocking on your door saying, “I’m the devil. I’d like to come in and destroy your life.” If he did, who would let him in? John 8:44 tells us he is the father of lies. The devil is all tricks and no treat. Hebrews 11:25 tells us sin is pleasurable for a season. The trap of sin is like a mousetrap. That cheese smells tasty, the color is so inviting until… WHAP!

The temptation looks great. It brings immediate pleasure, but Satan twists the truth and hides the consequences. He shows the beginning but not the end. When was the last time you saw a beer commercial showing somebody throwing up in the gutter? The drug pusher highlights the pleasure and peer acceptance but skips over addiction and prison time.

1 Peter 5:8 warns us to be sober, be vigilant. The devil is like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. He can’t devour just anyone, but if you allow deception to get in you, you give him authority in your life. If you have ever gone fishing, you know the bait must hide the hook. Our first line of defense is God’s Word.

John 10:10 gives us Satan’s job description: Kill, steal and destroy. You don’t have a friend in the devil. He wants to get you off God’s path. Philippians 3:13-14 encourages us to keep our eyes on the prize.

Jesus’ job description is to bring abundant life here and now. He will influence our relationships, our finances, and every area of life. Deuteronomy 30:19 encourages us to choose life. You and I have a choice. If I don’t like my life, I need to make different choices. Abundant life is always in my connection to Father God. We all know the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. The son lost abundant life when he broke the connection with his father. How do we unlock the door to abundant life? By hearing the right voices. There are three ways to do this:

1. Live under God’s authority. Pride wants to be in control. John 15:4-5 tells us that life comes by being connected to the vine. Apart from God you and I can do nothing (vs. 5). Please don’t fool yourself. Without Him we can’t even breathe!

2. Live within boundaries. The world’s freedom leads to addictions and bondage. 1 Corinthians 6:12 puts it this way: Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate not every choice will benefit for your life.

3. Live in fellowship with God. If I live like the world lives, I will get what the world gets! (Galatians 6:8) warns us if I sow to the flesh, I will reap corruption. Matthew 6:31-33 encourages us to live dependent on God, not the world. You fellowship with God by reading the Bible, belonging to a church that you are actively involved in, and by being with people who fellowship with God. Most of all be careful who you give your ear to because Whoever gets your ear gets your heart and whoever gets your heart has your life!

Hear Pastor Lonnie each Sunday live at the Miracle Center, 38 Teloma Dr., Ventura, CA, (805) 644-7722

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