When I was in elementary school, I remember laughing hard at this story* about a king who was tricked by some weavers. They convinced him they could make invisible clothes that would give him special powers.
His entire kingdom was fooled because they thought the king could tell who was stupid and wicked when he wore these clothes. So they fed his ego, drenching him in compliments, like syrup on pancakes, about his new unseen garments.
As he led a parade through town to show off his new clothes, everyone oohed and awed. Suddenly, one child yelled out, “The king is naked!”
Can you imagine the shock and awe of the townspeople on hearing the outburst? Of course, the king would never admit he was naked as a jaybird, so he continued to walk through the streets without clothes. I remember thinking, what a stupid person he is; the child showed more wisdom than the king.
After rereading this story as an adult, I realized it has one of the most graphic examples of deception you can imagine. The details of the entire story point out how easily any of us can be caught by a pothole of deceit:
Deception disguises itself in different forms and ways. It is often more difficult to recognize when it involves affairs of the heart (mind emotions).
Deceptive relationships between two people usually begin when senses (eyes, mind, touch), are aroused and heightened by what we see, feel and hear. This usually involves sexual desires which dull mental and spiritual alerts, meant to warn us of deception.
Addictions are sensory-based forms of deceit, bringing temporary pleasure to the body and mind. The likes of pornography, cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol demand that we make conscious choices to yield our minds and bodies to the lure of their addiction, like slaves yield to a master.
Promises of prosperity designed to make us rich, are powerful and tempting. History is full of stories about people wiped out of their life savings and retirement monies by con artists. Scripture tells me those who forget the source of all wealth, are destined to suffer grief. (I Timothy 6:10) NIV
Finally, positioned at the top of the deception list is religion built on the worship of idols, men, or philosophy. Scripture teaches that this kind of religion is useless. ( I Samuel 12:21) NIV
You might say, “Ok, I already know all of this, so how do I overcome this giant pothole in my faith?” Well, let’s begin with Faith 101.
First, surrender your mind, will, and desires to Christ. Put all of your trust in Him. In other words, you must die to who you think you are, so Christ may live and create who you really are. (Galatians 2:20)
Second, I have learned to listen carefully, not only to what is being said but to who is speaking. How well do I trust that person? If I listen with my heart, I have a built-in alarm system, equipped with just the right data to steer me in a godly direction; it is the Spirit of the Lord.
Next, remember the key to prosperity is in seeking the Lord—not listening to one-minute commercials, going to conferences or getting free miracle products, crystals, or other misleading objects. Foolish riches can easily sprout wings, leaving you with nothing. (Proverbs 23:5) NIV
Food desires can be one of the worst enemies. One of the substitutes for the word overeating is greed. Greed is a selfish, and intense desire for something or someone. This includes food, wealth power or sex. Do you want greed to control your life? Eating is necessary to nourish our bodies, but when we overstuff with food and enjoy it as a tasty treat for emotional or sexual gratification, a package delivery of obesity will surely knock at our doors. Overeating will take you to a new fat norm.
Repairing a pothole includes preparation, beginning with the removal of loose material or debris. It takes about three to six days to fix a pothole. Recognizing the evil of deceit, also requires some preparation to identify areas of vulnerability.
Just as serious damage caused by a pothole on a road takes time to repair, repairing potholes in us will require time and effort to identify any deception that makes a hole in our faith. (Romans 14:23) NIV We can’t hide a weakness when it is on a runaway track, it will require work to stop.
Prayer is part of my armor, so I USE IT to help me become better at recognizing deception. Let it be the first step toward “spiritual pothole” repair.