Gospel: Deceived!

Dan Shutt

Hidden amidst the intricate designs of the animal kingdom stalks a real life "master of deception." The tiny Portia spider (Portia fimbriata) has amazed scientists with its ability to deceive other spiders. In its quest to devour, this spider will draw upon a legion of devices to seduce a potential meal. It suits its tactic to the species it is stalking. It will pluck at an enemy's web mimicking the vibrations of a trapped insect and so lure the victim within reach. For some species it is enough for the Portia just to raise their curiosity to achieve the deadly goal. If a different strategy is required, it rises to the occasion by strumming out a different "tune," a monotonous vibration that hypnotizes the senses, allowing an offensive attack, even against a superior spider

As the unsuspecting species vary, so do the tactics. The enemy that cannot be fooled can often be distracted, and under the cover of a blowing wind or a struggling insect to mask its footsteps, the Portia will launch a well-timed attack. Still other prey can be deceived by romance! The Portia subtly resorts to mimicking a courting male, thus becoming a deadly suitor. When an unexpected event puts the stalker in danger of exposure or counterattack it quickly transforms itself to look like a harmless piece of debris. Thus the deception continues.

While you and I are not imperiled by the deceptive Portia spider, God's Word assures us that we have a deadly enemy who is not to be ignored. Public enemy number one, Satan himself, reigns unrivaled in the art of deception. None of us is a match for the devil. This "wicked one" (1 Jn 5:19) deceived Eve and has deceived millions since (Rev 12:9). He is incorrigible. He provokes (I Chr 21:1), accuses (Rev 12:10), tempts (1 Thes 3:5), resists (Zech 3:1) and corrupts (2 Cor 11:3). He is cruel. He blinds human minds (II Cor 4:4), snatches away the word of God from unsuspecting souls (Matt 13:19), deceives (Rev 12:9), murders and lies (John 4.4).

If you are not saved, you are still exposed to Satan's deceptive tactics (Acts 26:18). Like the Portia, the devil moves with effective persistence to carry out his sinister designs against your soul. Perhaps he has lured you away from spiritual interests. He can make the world look attractive. He can use life's misfortunes to turn a heart against God. His hypnotic deceptions are varied and have been horribly successful. For one person he distracts with discontentment. For another, he subverts with achievement. His greatest success is to romance the mind with the "pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb 11:25). For many, tragically, the "prospect" of pleasure is lure enough. As "the god of this world," he has "blinded the minds of them which believe not" (2 Cor 4:4).

Standing in contradistinction to Satan is God's beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever considered Him? The Bible tells us that "He [did] no violence, neither was any deceit found in His mouth" (Isa 53:9). The Lord Jesus went to the cross and endured the violence of men and the violence of justice at the hands of God. All this He did willingly for you and me! No wonder He is called "Faithful and True" (Rev 19:1l)!

Consider His words: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6). Will you trust Him? The Lord Jesus will not deceive you. He extends His arms in sweet invitation: "Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matt 11:28).

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