Self-Deceived

by Mike Ratliff

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? (Obadiah 1:3 KJV)

Adapted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon titled “Self-Deceived

Human pride is incredibly deceitful. It can so deceive its host that he or she may well believe they are the truly humble. It is true of all proud people, for pride is self-deceit. Some reading this may be proud. In fact, it is those who believe they have no pride who are most likely the proudest of all. Those who are proud of their humility are proud indeed.

Those who are self-deceived believe themselves to by of one character while most people see them as totally opposite. These people believe their position or stance or security is firm. However, they cannot see the truth that they are in peril for holding to their position or stance or believing they are secure because their pride has blinded them. They have latched onto certain leaders who they believe to be wise, but these “leaders” have no wisdom. They have confidence in things and people who are like water in the hands. They have placed their trust in people rather than God. Only God does not fail and anyone claiming to have the truth, but that truth is contrary to the Word of God is a deceiver.

Again it was their own pride which deceives them. The proud person believes they hold the truth, when in fact they are trusting in the words of men and their own innate abilities, believing that their conception of the truth is the truth because they believe it to be so. The concept that truth is truth whether it is believed to be the truth by them or not is foreign to them. Pride lays a person open to be deceived. His judgment is perverted by it. His stand is rendered inaccurate. His desires invite flattery and his folly accepts it. This is why it is so dangerous for us to seek the praise of others.

Pride leads its victims into evil ways. They become defiant. They become destitute of compassion because pride is stoney-hearted. Like a pack of wolves, these people gang-up on those they oppress. They show contempt for what is holy. In the early 21st Century those who are seeking to replace the Church with something new, to do away with guilt, repentance, the sovereignty of God, fallen man, to name just a few things, are the self-deceived. They actually believe they are right because they are deceived.

These self-deceived, nominal Christians have secured their ruin. Their defiance has been as a battle flag raised in the face of those who know God and His truth and will not compromise. They have actually cultivated enemies for themselves because they have such contempt for God and His ways. They are actually filling up the cup of God’s wrath against them for their own sins as well as the greater sin of leading others into darkness.

What should our response be to those who proudly proclaim that they are no longer Christians, but are Christ-followers who are not subject to orthodoxy or any doctrine whatsoever? We must hate all pride and humbly rest in God. God knows what is going on. He is in control. He is allowing these blasphemers to do what they do in order to judge them for His glory. We must not look down on anyone in the belief that just because we have not partaken of the sin of the self-deceived, that we are sinless. In fact, the one who believes that he or she is sinless is actually proving that he or she is even more blind than those looked down upon. Think of the Pharisee and the publican in the Temple.

Pride commeth before the fall. As we follow our Lord on the narrow way let us not listen to that deceiving voice that comes upon us all telling us to be thankful that we are not like those prideful people who are ensnared into their self-deception. If we fall for that then we prove that we are just as self-deceived and our pride is not killed and that our humility is still embryonic. Instead of looking down on those in their self-deception we must hurt for them and pray for them to be delivered. Yes, stand firm, never compromise, but always do so from a humble heart that seeks the restoration of all those who have fallen victim to their own pride. They may have been self-deceived to enter the treacherous, rocky path that leads only to the slippery slide into the quicksand, but we cannot be like them in lacking compassion. We must always be ready to offer them the truth, showing them the way out of the mire. Some may indeed harken to the truth because God has given them ears to hear. God be praised if this be so! However, we must also be prepared for their self-deceived hearts to reject the truth and our offer of reconciliation on the basis of their repentance.

Let us examine ourselves carefully to determine if our flesh is being used by our enemy to build up our pride and harden our hearts. If we detect this then we must humbly repent, moving after our Lord again with our eyes on Him and not on ourselves. It is when we have our eyes on things and people and ourselves that we are no longer watching so we can stand firm. Spirit-filled vigilance will keep us armored up and ready for the battle. The self-deceived have fallen for the lie that they can handle the battle without their armor. This is the beginning of their spiritual blindness and their fall into deception proceeds from there. Therefore, let us pray and saturate our lives with the Word of God as we submit to others. This will keep us humble and undeceived and usable.

Soli Deo Gloria!

13 thoughts on “Self-Deceived

  1. Boldness and humility seem at opp;osite ends of the spiritual spectrum but in reality they should be conjoined. We must speak boldly about the falling away while we also speak boldly to ourselves. Only then can we be transparent in God’s eyes.

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  2. The ones we run into Mike are those who think just because they warm a pew every now and then and they know there is a God, Heaven, and Hell, because they are ‘good people’, why would God not let them into Heaven?? So when you tell them what the Bible says…….they don’t ‘buy it'(even if you show them the scriptures) and get mad at you. You’re the fruit cake and they continue to do what they have always done. Now talk about decieved!!! They really believe they are going to make it. Then you have the so called preachers out there telling them to just make a decision!! They don’t kill, rob, and they pay their taxes and work every week. We find that those are the ones hardest to reach. Satan has many tactics he uses and he’s good at it. We have gotten to the point the only way to help them is to pray for them, and pray hard. The wide road must be atleast a mile wide!

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  3. Humility – – yes, I struggle here. I am always asking God to keep me humble and not allow “me” to get in the way – I really ask Him to take “me” out, for I have no doubt that we are all deceived by something – – as long as we are in our flesh and in this world – – so there really is no room for us to look down on anyone, but rather, keep looking up.

    I feel that pride rise up in me at times, looking at someone, thinking…”How can you do that?” – God, often times will bring back a past sin in my life to humble me at that very moment – – He uses “self-examination” with me quite often to keep me in line and to keep me from passing “my” judgement. And you know when it is from Him, for His way produces conviction with the production of His fruit – if from the flesh, it turns into self-pity and spirals down from there – – I have been there too. Self-pity is a false form of humility.

    I cannot help but reflect on Psalm 51 daily – – reading this Psalm, and truly immersing myself in it , helps me to stay focused and gives me strength, while at the same time weakens “me”.

    Thanks Mike.

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  4. Sorry, for I keep rambling (I am on my second cup of coffee 🙂 – but I could not help but think of how I hate pride in myself – well, anything that is not from Him – – I simply do NOT want to grieve the Holy Spirit! This thought truly gives me an ache in my heart and a sickness to my body (Paul, I am a fruit cake!) – – I just want my life to be holy and pleasing in HIS sight – – BUT this FLESH! This flesh just keeps getting in the way! I HATE it!

    Bear with me here… my point is, if we stay focused on NOT wanting to grieve the Holy Spirit – this will keep us humble, or at least more humble, more often.

    OK, OK – – no more coffee for me.

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  5. Paul said: ………… they don’t ‘buy it’(even if you show them the scriptures) and get mad at you. You’re the fruit cake and they continue to do what they have always done. Now talk about decieved

    Paul, your response was exactly what I was thinking. I have run into this time after tiime. It is so sad and it just breaks my heart, but you are right, all we can do is keep on praying for them.

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  6. I’m glad to have found this posting. I believe pride to be the greatest blight on all of humanity, secular and non. It’s effects are devastating and you’re so right, it is self-deception.

    We’re all susceptible to it . . . and I think the answer, humility, only happens as we know God more and more . . . a life lived in reverence and true acknowledgment of His immeasurable superiority I guess is what I’m thinking here.

    Great post! Thank you.

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  7. I see this exact thing happening all around me. I live in a small town very small and saw firt hand what this new church is all about. The tactics of the take over are not of God. Jesus is at the door because the ABOMINATION THAT CREATS DESOLATION IN THE CHURCH IS HERE!! Right before us and it is spreading throughout all the world and religions of every sort!!
    May God me merciful to those watch and wait for His comming.

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