The greatest strategy in deceit is knowing this: The closer the lie is to the truth, the less chance there is of being caught. The devil knows this. He will present you with enough truth that you will believe him. Jesus said, "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and will deceive many" (Matthew 13:6 NKJV).
How many of us believe that we will be one of the "many" who are deceived?
I suspect that most of us here think, "Oh, not ME! I would know Jesus if I saw Him! I would know a lie if I heard it!" However, the Bible says that the devil will slip in under our radar. He's very, very good at pulling the wool over the eyes of God's sheep — pun intended.
The devil is ALREADY making us numb to the truth. Without knowing it, we're gradually cooperating with him or refusing to deal with sin, even in our own homes. We are numb to TV, numb to the influences that are destroying our children, and often numb to the sin that we rationalize in ourselves.
Our children watch their peers or whatever is on TV — as we watch with them watching TV — and they think about what they are missing. They desire the freedoms and the things they see presented to them by many of the most creative minds in our culture. Satan tells them these things are good, pleasurable, and many others are enjoying them. The world tells them that their parents are square, stuffy, mean, hypocritical, and bigoted.
Jesus answered Satan with the following when being tempted:
"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). When He was tempted by the devil, what did the Lord use as an effective tool against the temptations of the devil? The written Word of God. Where are these words written? They are found in the Bible that often sits on our coffee table or in its protective case, often unopened and unexamined. We would be better armed to have it in our hands.
The Bible is alive! Knowledge of God is within its pages. It is a true love-letter to each of us. As we read and study, we should be praying for discernment and be determined that what we read determines how we think, act, and speak. This way, when the devil tempts us, then we will be able to respond the way that Jesus did, using the Scriptures. The apostle Paul reminded Timothy of the importance of Scripture when he wrote the following to him:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Let's not be deceived by the evil one. We know his purposes, but we know Jesus' purposes for us even more!
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 NKJV).