Did you know that you can hear the Word of God and, at the same time, deceive yourself? Self-deceit destroys your happiness and deprives you of blessings. It makes your Bible muddled and confusing in many ways—in fact, God says He will actually hide His revelation from you!
However, if you overcome self-deceit, you will have a strong spiritual house that can weather any storm. Your life will overflow with joy and happiness. God will pour out blessings on you. You will understand your Bible better. These are all promises from God!
Here’s how to counter self-deceit: “[B]e ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). You deceive yourself by hearing and not doing. And you break free of that deceit by doing God’s word.
How to Be Happy
Jesus Christ led an exemplary life so we can have a picture of the way we ought to live. “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you,” He said (John 13:15). “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (verse 17). Hearing God’s word does not make us happy. What makes us happy is the doing. That is a promise from God!
How many truly happy people do you know? Many reject Christ’s example and successfully gain temporary pleasures. But those pleasures do not bring real happiness, and they do not last. God created us to be continuously filled with hope, joy and vision! How much of those qualities do you see in the world today? A big reason for the prevalence of unhappiness is self-deception.
Jesus also said, “[B]lessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). We must go beyond simply hearing God’s Word. We must guard it, protect it, live by it. When we do that, Christ promises we will be blessed.
Like a Little Child
Here is an important biblical teaching that few people realize. In order to understand God’s truth, God must open your mind to it. He must reveal it to you.
Christ made this clear: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). How many people believe that? God hides His truth! He hides it from the powerful and scholarly of this world—and as a result, His Word has no value to them. They are not humble enough to listen to what He says and obey like obedient little children. They will hear, but they won’t do! So the truth remains hidden to them. They can hear it and read it from start to finish, but it only confuses them, and even after such a close brush with such incredible truth, they remain self-deceived.
God only reveals His truth to “babes”—those who approach God with childlike attitudes.
“[N]o man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (verse 27). These are Christ’s own words! He said you cannot know the Son or the Father unless God is revealed to you. And that only happens if you listen to Christ and obey.
Some people were following Jesus and even calling Him “Lord,” or master. That surely seemed right and good. But here is what Christ said to them: “[W]hy call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
This is shockingly serious! These people felt very righteous! They followed Jesus around. They wanted to hear His words. They regarded themselves as His followers. But they would not do what He said! They were self-deceived! Christ boldly told them, I’m not your master if you don’t do what I say! There’s no point in calling me Lord unless you obey what I’m telling you to do!
How do you explain those people’s behavior? Well, it is simply human nature. It is what we all naturally tend to do! We must overcome that carnal tendency or we won’t receive the blessings—the happiness, joy and biblical understanding—that God promises. He will not reveal His truth to you!
Built on a Rock
Christ went on to emphasize the importance of what we do with what God teaches us. “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:47-48).
What a marvelous picture! When you do as God commands, your life becomes stable and grounded—because you are building your life on the Rock! Hearing and then doing the word of God gives you great spiritual strength. Violent storms, difficulties and trials can arise, yet they will not shake you. No problem can cause you to leave Jesus Christ!
What happens if you don’t do as God commands? “But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” (verse 49).
This man didn’t build on the Rock—Jesus Christ. He may have heard Him. He may have agreed with Him. But he did not do what He said. Matthew 7:26-27 say this man built his house on sand. When the flood came, the foundation of this house washed away in an instant. Many people who hear what God says fail to concentrate on applying it. Because they are not doing these words, they have no strength. Once a trial comes, their house quickly falls in, and they leave Christ.
God promises that if you take action and build your house on Jesus Christ’s words, nothing will dislodge you! Nothing will take you away from God! That is a wonderful group of verses to encourage us! Nothing can stop us from doing and obeying God.
Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that finding the truth, hearing the words and talking about them is all God requires of you. Hear—and then do! As you do, God will pour out blessings on you and bring tremendous happiness into your life, even amid trials and storms. He will reveal more and more truth to you; He will supply you with greater biblical understanding. And He will give you an abundant, joyful life! This is a promise from God: If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.
For more information on this life-changing subject, study my free booklet How to Be an Overcomer.