Self-Deception

James 1:21-22…So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (NLT).

Someone has said that the worst of all deceptions is self-deception. No one, however, can escape being found out. Sooner or later the mask will come off. I’m sure that you remember the story of Elisha the prophet and Naaman the leper (2 Kings 5). But do you remember Gehazi, Elisha’s servant? He was part of the story too. Naaman came to Elisha for the healing of his leprosy, and Elisha told him to dip seven times in the Jordan river. Naaman did, and he was healed miraculously. Elisha turned down the reward that was offered to him; Gehazi, however, “secretly” ran after Naaman and asked for the reward that Elisha turned down. The Lord told Elisha of Gehazi’s deed, and Elisha rebuked Gehazi for his disobedience and greed. Gehazi became leprous.

The tragedy is this: Gehazi didn’t recognize that he had leprosy in his heart. He assumed that because he was in a spiritual environment, he was right. Why? Perhaps he thought, “I’m with Elisha and in the school of the prophets. I’m serving both the Lord’s and Elisha’s purposes; nothing can go wrong.” With such surroundings as this who could possibly be ungodly? The truth is, with such surroundings it is easy to be self-deceived. Self-deception works on people so that they think God’s eyes are fuzzy and that He cannot always discern the intent of the heart; because they do not think that there is evil in their hearts, God must not see it. What is the Spirit saying in this short message? He is saying that we must root out our inward leprosy lest God makes it painfully public. What we expose voluntarily to God, He does not expose to the world (1 John 1:9). Gehazi reminds us all that God’s eyes see very clearly. He sees the deceptions in the hearts of those believers who sit in sin in spiritual surroundings.

Pastor George Belobaba

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