June 1, 2023

Gates to Deception

“Congratulations! You have won . . . .”

“This message is to alert you that your personal and financial information has been exposed.”

“Respond immediately to avoid termination.”

“Thank you for your payment. Click on the link to view your account.”

“Your computer is at risk.”

“We are unable to deliver your package.”

The list of warnings goes on and on. When you receive them—or something similar—do you get a rush of anxiety knowing you haven’t made a payment or ordered anything? Does your finger waver over the click button? If you follow through, do you then regret doing so?

It is easy to be duped. In fact, I could say I was a victim, but in reality I did so willingly, so I can’t claim being a victim. A while back my computer wasn’t working right. I went to Microsoft’s site and found a tech connection that would solve my problem. I called them and within minutes gave a guy access to my computer. He diagnosed the issue and fixed it. I was happy to hand over a coupla hundred bucks.

Three months later, the same man, but now from a different company, called to say “they” weren’t able to do the follow up included in our agreement. I wondered why this wasn’t the original company but recognized the man, so granted him access to my computer. On the screen, an arrow pointed to some mumbo jumbo. “See this,” he said more than asked. “This is a virus from the Philippines. We need to remove it immediately.” Anxiety rushed through my body. Of course I wanted him to take care of me and my computer. To the tune of $230.

A few months passed before he called again from yet another company. Who was this guy and why was he moving around, taking my information with him? Long story short, after again falling prey to his manipulation, I finally quit answering the phone when I suspected it was this dude.

I am embarrassed to admit my stupidity at repeatedly opening the gate to deception. I praise the Lord that He has protected me from further computer invasions.

Last month my blog spoke to opening gates. Today, I want to address closing gates—ones which if passed through will lead to trouble. The best defense is to avoid opening those gates in the first place, but you ask, “How can I know a gate opens to deception?”

Who Can I Trust?

For one thing, I don’t trust psychics who set up shop only to close their doors a short time later. If they are as good as advertised, shouldn’t they have known their business wouldn’t succeed? Still, some trust in these seers’ predictions, then make life decisions based upon what they believe to be the truth. Opening this gate to deception does not make sense, especially considering if psychics can predict the future, why don’t they win lotteries or become millionaires from stock investments?

Zechariah 10:2 (GNT) states, “People consult idols and fortunetellers, but the answers they get are lies and nonsense. Some interpret dreams, but only mislead you; the comfort they give is useless. So the people wander about like lost sheep. They are in trouble because they have no leader.”

My heart breaks for unsuspecting people who enter this gate of deception only to wander around filled with falsehoods.

“Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; But afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.” Proverbs 20:17 (KJV)

How Can I Avoid Opening the Gate to Deception?

Noah Webster nailed it when he said, “The Bible must be considered as the great source of all the truth by which men are to be guided in government as well as in all social transactions.”

When we hide God’s Word in our hearts and minds, and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, we have what we need to close the gate to duplicity.

Billy Graham also captured this wisdom in his statement, “It is far better to know God’s Truth than to be ignorant of it.

Yet, Unfortunately . . .

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NIV)

How Can Bible Verses Help?

So, you ask me, “How could the Bible have helped you dodge the dastardly deed doer with your computer dilemma?”

If only I would have paused momentarily before rushing to act, and reflected on several verses . . . e.g.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

In other words, by focusing my thoughts on these verses, I could have deflected my anxiety, prayed about the situation, and asked God to guide me. Submitting to Him rather than to the person leading me down a costly path would have given me peace. At which point, I would like to think, I’d have thanked the man on the phone and not given him access to my computer, at least beyond that first time. Waiting upon the Lord is always the best path to take, for He never rushes me into anything, and certainly never ushers me through a gate of deception.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, I pray every one of my readers is protected by your truth, that none would fall prey to opening the gate to deception.

Thought For The Day: “Your lot in life will be stepping in cow pies if you fail to shut gates opening to anxiety, fear and falsehoods.”