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October 10, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.”—1 John 2:26 (NKJV)
Growing up in the 80s, my childhood consisted of some sacred rituals. One of these rituals included coming home from school and making a beeline for the television to watch the latest animated adventure of G.I. Joe!
Each episode involved the “Joes” thwarting some sinister plot to dominate the world and concluded with one of the characters giving a short life lesson that kids needed to know. And the final statement of each show was always the same: “Knowing is half the battle!”
As you can see, that stuck with me because it’s just so true. When faced with a challenge or proverbial battle in life, having the knowledge you need makes all the difference in whether you win or lose. Knowledge is the ultimate weapon on the battlefield.
This principle of victory through preparation wasn’t invented by G.I. Joe, though. It’s actually something we see expressed thousands of years ago in Scripture, and specifically here in the Book of 1 John. As we can see in the proceeding passage, John was preparing the Church for an immanent attack—an attack launched by the forces of Satan and executed with the weapons of spiritual deception.
Sometimes Satan will rally the forces of darkness for an all-out frontal attack by physically and blatantly persecuting the Church. But in many cases, this form of attack actually serves to strengthen the Church because it causes individuals to wholeheartedly cling to the truth that the battle really belongs to the Lord.
However, over the centuries, deception has proven the far more damaging form of attack. The enemy will seek to infiltrate the Church and sprinkle error here and there; subtly at first, but it will eventually effect the truths of God that serve as our spiritual foundation. Instead of scaling the outer walls, the enemy focuses on fracturing the foundation! Never underestimate the destructive power of, “Has God really said . . . ?”
As formidable as Satan’s forces are, and as committed as they are to deceive God’s people, we have the advantage by simply knowing about this mode of attack. When we know there’s an agenda to deceive and distort God’s truth, we can prepare for it and repel it by abiding in God’s Word. When we do this, the spiritual victory is bound to be ours, because knowing is half the battle!
DIG: What do John and G.I. Joe have in common?
DISCOVER: Why is deception such a “go to” strategy for Satan? What are you doing to prepare yourself against spiritual deception?
DO: Make a list of verses that reveal the truth regarding spiritual deception. Print out the list and put it somewhere visible. As you pass by it be reminded of the words of the Lord to help you combat the deceptions of the enemy.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.