Now we ask…that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or disturbed by a spirit, a message, or a letter… No one is to deceive you in any way! - 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4 NASB summation
Reading this verse, my mind went back to 2 Aug 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. That day began a blitzkrieg of media fear-mongering. In the months that followed, as nations began preparations to aid Kuwait, Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein proclaimed the fight would be the “mother of all battles.” Iraq had the world’s 4th largest army, and his words generated fear in many. For 7 months, the media was filled with dire predictions. In every home, all the talk was on the upcoming terror. The pundits had hand-wringing ‘prophecies’ proclaiming years of war and thousands of American soldier deaths. We were to encounter Armageddon, Nostradamus, and the Antichrist all rolled into one. The fear was palpable.
The ground war to expel Iraq from Kuwait began on 24 Feb 1991. In 100 hours, it was over. There were 700,000+ US soldiers in the conflict. No death is insignificant, yet in those hours, the total number of American soldiers killed in the day's battle was 96. At the same time, 416 folks died in car crashes here at home! I was irritated in my spirit. There had been a massive deception to terrorize people. And fear sells to those given to being intimidated and undiscerning. Other deceptive works came to mind. Hitler and his 1000-year Reich. Y2K, the 1970’s Ice Age, Russian Collusion. I recalled the dire predictions surrounding The Exxon Valdez and The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spills. Each of them had fearful predictions of unrecoverable environmental catastrophes. Yet today, Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Mexico flourish with record catches. Today, we have Hamas murdering Jews and using Palestinian civilians as shields. School administrations celebrate sexual perversions, while political leaders produce porn for profit. I’m not proposing mature disciples of Jesus laugh off the 3rd Reich, natural climate change, or oil spills. In this scripture, though, I see we are to proactively maintain a posture of ‘not be deceived in any way.’
Daily Battle Order:
Choose to exercise your God-given discernment. Ask: ‘Is what I hear the truth, or is deception laced within some facts? Decide to love the truth. Actively resist the temptation to panic and keep a clear mind about deception. This way, you will be more effective in your vocal prayers for your family, nation, and yourself.