The Debacle Of Delusion

There are verses of Scripture which never fail to leap off of the Good Book’s pages and land squarely between my eyes—Proverbs 21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts” and Proverbs 16:2, “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” These impacting verses speaks without partiality to all readers alike. Once these fearful verses sink in with their full implications they cannot help but stagger the mind!
Apparently, Proverbs 21:2 and Proverbs 16:2 clarify the fact that a man’s motive—the underlying aspect of the heart which God’s ponders—is the driving force of the “way of a man.” With God motives matter greatly.
While it is true that Jesus gave the illustration of a son asking his father for bread that the father, being evil, would not give him a stone—yet—we must also be aware that requests made to God which are derived from wrong motives can cause one to be handed a serpent instead of a fish! 2 Thess. 2:10-11 states clearly the reason that God “shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” and that reason is “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” The “strong delusion” can clearly be tracked back to the motive of those who are sadly mentioned in 2 Thess 2.
Two truths about God are sobering. One, God cannot be deceived (Galatians 6:7,8; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 15:33, 34; James 1:16, 17; 1 John 3:7, 8); and two, God knows our true motives—even when we succeed in deceiving ourselves! People can deceive themselves [as well as others], but people never deceive God.
With God, “why” a person does something is of even greater importance to “what” a person does. God will not only judge our deeds [“whats”] but He will pass judgment on “whats” by considering our “whys.” The person who knows the right thing to do and refuses to do what he or she realizes sins against God (James 4:17; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 2 Timothy 2:21-26).
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). In this society, we most easily deceive ourselves on the basis of what “I know,” “what I understand,” and “my wisdom” which is based on “my knowledge” and “my understanding.”
Therefore, motives become the key factor in the “ways of man.” For instance, two individuals may seek God for certain spiritual promotions and end up with totally different “gifts” from God based on their motives for asking—one from a sincere and pure request and the other from a selfish and dishonest request. Balaam, because of impure motives was told to “go” after he had previously been told to “stay.” He DID hear from God but what he failed to grasp was that God had given him a “go” based on his erroneous motives.
There have always been those who can testify that they sought God and prayed and fasted to determine a path away from the “old paths” and lo and behold they begin to receive “revelations” and “affirmations” and “enlightenment” in their path or journey to lands already occupied by those who with equally impure motives long ago blazed the trail from Truth to delusion!
This is the terrifying thing about delusion—especially strong delusion—is that it is self confirming and prevents the entry of Truth (which sets free) thereby condemning the deceived to a state of mind which is a “belief” but a belief in a lie. Yet a lie is safe as along as Truth is evicted.
A clinical journal article stated the following: “Human beliefs are shaped by perception, but new research suggests delusions — unfounded but tightly held beliefs — can turn the tables and actually shape perception.” This is the horror of being in delusion—perception is shaped by the lie. Spiritual delusion is a false belief based on incorrect inference about spiritual reality that is firmly sustained despite Scripture which constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. “To believe a lie” is the most horrific faith—faith produced by a delusion!
— JLG —

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