Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105
As I was walking the other morning and seeking the Lord about a scripture I had just read about delusion, and what it really meant, God showed me the sidewalk I was on and how bright the concrete was in contrast to the freshly mowed lawn on either side. When I looked ahead there was no doubt where I was going as long as I stayed on the sidewalk.
Walking further the Lord reminded me of a documentary I had seen about a highway in the sky. The aircraft manufacturer Boeing was developing a program for pilots to navigate through the sky simply by using this amazing software. From takeoff to landing the computer set the course on this virtual highway to guide the plane and keep it in a desired heading until it reached its destination.
The word of God is what keeps us on course and illuminates our path even in total darkness. When I first came to the Lord a friend handed me a bible and I became a student of the word. Next, my pastor taught me how to have a quiet time with God and commune with Him. The first four years of my new Christian life were wonderful and God showed me many things. Because I was in a church going through a transition from Southern Baptist to Spirit filled there was really no man-made doctrines preached so I had the opportunity to learn the pure milk of the word.
Today there are many new and even strange doctrines and weird teachings being introduced into the church. Most of them don't even remotely line up with the bible. For the past few decades the word has been neglected and emotion and hype have replaced sound doctrine. In a recent message I likened the church to be a cruise ship sailing on a sea of lost souls, the problem being that they have lost their direction because they have neglected to use their spiritual compass, the word of the living God.
And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason, God will send them strong delusion, (a straying of the mind or error in judgment or thinking ) that they should believe the lie, that they all be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. II Thessalonians 2:8-12
To simplify this often misrepresented scripture, and to give revelation of what Paul is saying will give us insight in regards to the proper use of God's word in spiritual warfare. Most take this word as purely prophetic and dealing only with the return of Christ, but I want to show you how it refers to our situation today. God's word is alive and active for such a time as now, when we need it.
Since deception was introduced in the Garden of Eden we have had to deal with its effects on our lives and war against it, using the weapons that God has given us. All Satanic influence is lawless, in other words it does not recognize the law of God. The scripture says that Jesus will consume and destroy with the breath of His mouth, again speaking of the Word of God. The word also represents light that produces a brightness that reveals the powers of darkness.
One of the ways to recognize the presence of the powers of darkness is by signs and wonders that don't line up with God's word. Again our navigation system reveals to us when we are straying from the course of the word. If we rely on our own understanding or emotional response we will fall prey to deception every time. The apostle Paul gives the church a stern warning not to believe that which is false or go after that which is not truth resulting in God sending strong delusion upon them.
The word delusion means a straying of the mind or an error in judgment. When we neglect the word of God, our compass and navigation system break down and we begin to set a course by what we think is right and not by what God says is right. By leaning on our own understanding we open ourselves up for delusion to enter our mind and heart. If a pilot were to turn off his instruments and begin to fly by what he thinks he could end up completely off course and even be in danger of crashing his plane.
But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted ( led astray ) from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received , or a different gospel. II Corinthians 11:3,4
I thought there was only one Jesus, one Spirit and one gospel, but Paul is warning that there might be others. What would a different Jesus look like, or a different spirit, or even a different gospel? This is where your spiritual compass must be used to navigate through the devil's deceptive path. If you want to know what Jesus looks like, read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. A different gospel would be something not found in these four books and a different spirit is what you get when you deviate from the word of God.
Remember, Paul said, that your mind could be led away from the simplicity and purity of Christ. In other words, having a relationship with Jesus involves communing with Him, meditating in His word and praying with Him in the Spirit. If a relationship is pure and simple and all your motives are honest toward someone then you don't have to worry about being deceived. When one begins to move outside this pure and simple devotion with Christ and go after something new and exciting that everyone seems to be following is where deception moves in and delusion takes over.
We are living in very dangerous times and there are literally thousands of false prophets, new and strange teachings and sometimes even weird signs and wonders happening right in the midst of God's elect. If you are not rooted and grounded in the word of God and don't have a solid relationship with Jesus then you are in danger of being deceived and drawn away by the powers of darkness. Remember Jesus said, "Even the elect ( chosen ) could be deceived."
Jesus warned that there is a narrow way and a broad way, the narrow way leads to life and the broad way leads to destruction. He also warned that the crowds would take the broad way. When you see everyone following a man or some new teaching you had better get your compass out and have your spiritual antennas up because big doesn't mean better, and just because there are large crowds doesn't mean God is any where near it.
Jesus also said, that you would know false prophets by their fruit, and this sometimes takes some time to discern what is really in a man's heart and to know his true motive. The most dangerous types of deception are when the devil uses the word of God or signs and wonders in which he even tried on Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus in turn came back at him with the word and ultimately defeated him.
I would encourage you to pull away from the hustle and bustle of life for a while and come back to a simple time of devotion and prayer with the Lord Jesus Christ who will strengthen you and fill you with His Spirit and allow you to sharpen your spiritual discernment because of those things coming upon the world. The apostle Paul said that to know Him was the most important thing in his life , far above all else, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to the upward call of God!
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall!"