(Isaiah 44:20 KJV) He feedeth on ashes; a deceived heart hath turned him aside; and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?
Over the years I have actually known a few folks who were so persuasive that they could make you believe a lie even when you knew it was a lie. A person with that kind of persuasive power did not get it from God.
Satan is not only the author of lies, but he was persuasive enough in the Garden of Eden to deceive Eve into believing his lie. God made Eve perfect and put her in a perfect environment, yet due to Satan’s persuasiveness she believed his lie. Satan is not only the father of deception, but he also seems to have the ability to give that same persuasive power to anyone who will yield to him. When one has that kind of power it seems to propel them into committing idolatry, which is a sin.
An idolater is one who delights in his idol, or in this case his ability to persuade others to do his will. The fact is that some people just have the ability to weaken others and make them yield to their deception. Jeremiah was right when he said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
When one finds out that they have been deceived by another, there is a tendency for them to hold a grudge against the deceiver. The downfall of holding a grudge is that it allows the deceiver to live rent free in your head.
As strong a man as I am, I know a man who seems to have the ability to weaken me every time I am around him. What is even worse is that I cannot seem to do anything about it. Therefore I try to stay away from him even though I really care for the man. He not only has this effect on me, but on everyone in his congregation. I do not believe that spirit is from the Lord, even though he does not try to persuade me to do anything wrong. It is not good for anyone to have that kind of persuasive power over another. The only one we should be consumed by is the Lord, because there is no true knowledge apart from God and the crucified Christ.
Satan does not care if one has religion as long as they do not follow Christ’s teaching...which produces real holiness and a righteous heart. Religion on the other hand makes a man believe that he is holy and righteous when he is in fact far from God. This kind of religion is the result of being persuaded to believe a lie.
Help each of us not to be deceived as Eve was. Lord if we have been deceived in the past then help us not to hold a grudge against that person—which allows them to live rent free in our head. Our desire is to live righteously by following Your examples.