Sunday Stillness – How are we easily deceived?
I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:10. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.
Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.
S – Say the passage aloud.
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group (Titus 1:10, NIVUK).
I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.
Rebellious People: are they the ones who are far from God? who make their own rules? who are violent? who pursue dishonest gain? who lie? who cheat? who don’t follow God’s word? Or just any of us who take our own route instead of checking with God. (Doesn’t that happen a lot?)
Mere Talkers: sometimes people think they know everything but they don’t have solid knowledge. Some just talk to hear themselves talk. Or send forward emails (a technological form of talking) that they don’t check the veracity of the statement.
Circumcision Group: Those who were of Jewish faith and believed one needed to be circumcised to be a Christian. Those who followed the rules, by the letter, man’s rules, not God’s.
The King James Version for Titus 1:10 says:
for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of circumcision.
M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.
Reading Ed’s book, I learned more about how we are deceived into thinking that what we do is okay – but it may not be. For instance, Ed talks about labyrinths. At one time I thought of putting in a labyrinth on our property. Somehow that didn’t come to fruition. I am so happy. After reading the history of labyrinths in Ed’s book I changed my mind.
The Labyrinth has a history of human sacrifices, and cult worship. It was a place to keep the Minotaur in a type of jail, with no chance of escape. Sacrifices of young teens were made to this beast. This is the story of the beginning of labyrinths (in Crete).
The emphasis in the actual written documentation about Labyrinth usage was not how to enter the labyrinth but how to escape the labyrinth (Ed Hird, page 49, Restoring Health).
Being westerners, we often fail to realize that seemingly harmless ‘physical”‘ techniques can have significant questionable spiritual impact on our lives (ibid. page 50).
Ed reminds us of yoga that also has swept the country – it seems only physical in nature but,
we fail to see the religious syncretism that we are involving ourselves in (Ibid. page 50).
I know many may disagree about the danger of these forms of expression. But I check out Yoga, Tai Chi, anything Zen and consider what it may be really.
Read Ed Hird’s wonderful articles:
MBTI, Mandalas, Labyrinth, Carl Jung
I do agree with Ed that you are what you do. So be careful you are not pulled where God does not want you to be. If you have any weird inklings that something doesn’t seem right – get out of there.
I don’t want to be deceived by the world.
P – Pray again for God’s guidance.
Very interesting time once again.
L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?
As I read Ed’s book about the call of the world – the deceivers that we may not see as deceivers, God reminded me to keep watch. I have to remember Whom I worship. And I must keep all my activities focused on Him.
It is not a neutral thing whom and what you worship. You become like what you worship… Your view of God is the highest truth about you, as it shapes everything you do (Ed Hird, Restoring Health, page 53).
Am I being easily deceived by the world? Are you? Look around you. What do you see? Where are you putting your energy and focus? Television? Video games? Gossip?
Why do we have such bullying in schools? Why the racism? Are you involved with activities that might be pulling you away from Jesus?
Are we being deceived?
but test them all; hold on to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIVUK).
E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.
Father, this is all so confusing. What we see as innocent may not be innocent. Help us to discern what is good for us and not harmful to our spirits. I don’t know the answers. But I know You do. Help us as we pray together for discernment so we know whether we are being deceived. Help us to be watchful and hold on to what is good. Protect us we pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Are we being deceived by what looks innocent to us? (click to tweet).
Do we “realize that seemingly harmless ‘physical”‘ techniques can have significant questionable spiritual impact on our lives @edhird (click to tweet).
Today is Sunday Stillness.
Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.
Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.
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Satan likes to dance in the shadows of light. Just like in the garden, he deceives us.
It’s crucial that we know God’s Word, that we know WHO God is and what His character is so that we don’t allow ourselves to be deceived.
Thanks for inviting me over from my blog!
Have a great week.
It is great meeting you and I have had fun connecting with you on your blog. God’s Word is where we focus our attention – and listening to His answers from prayer.
I love how you started us out with the question “are we being easily deceived?” We live in a world of deceptions and appearing to not be who we really are so I believe that we can easily fall into that trap. Thank you for laying it all out. Glad to have you over at The Weekend Brew.
Thank you so much. I didn’t realize how much we are being deceived until I read Ed’ book and the Bible. Makes me more aware now for sure.
Thank you for hosting and providing the free printable. I look forward to using it tomorrow.
I would love to hear your thoughts when you have time to try out the SIMPLE Bible Study.
I agree with you, Janis, and Ed on being very careful about what you take up or practice–knowing its roots, history and connections to things ungodly or to the occult. And I steer away from yoga or anything that smacks of eastern mysticism, however, a practice like meditation that is used by both groups is very clearly biblical. However, there is a difference in the way we, as Christians, meditate versus the way mystics meditate. They “empty their minds” and we ask God to “fill ours with His word and truth.” Big difference! But yes, we should always be on the look out for practices that might pull us away from the Lord and into the web that the spiritual forces of darkness are trying to lure us into. Thanks also for hosting, my friend!
That is exactly my thinking. I do meditate – on God’s Word, and in prayer. I mull over things and then listen to Him. I fill up and do not empty my mind – except for extraneous stuff that sometimes gets into my thoughts. Thanks for the encouragement and kind words.
But I am extremely cautious about all things now – what are they really, what is their background.
I didn’t know that about labyrinths. Ew. Thanks for the eye-opening post today, Janis, and, as always, for hosting.
Labyrinths, mandalas, Zen, Yoga – all have backgrounds of spiritual practices that are not Christian. We don’t want to go there. Be watchful. Thanks for your comments.
I love the S.I.M.P.L.E. layout of getting into God’s word that you used. I will explore this more. Thanks for sharing. Linking up with the weekend brew. Have a beautiful Sunday!
So wonderful to meet you. I have never had such in depth studying on my own of the Bible and this method makes me want to study the Bible. I hope you were able to download the PDF for SIMPLE.
I am so glad you approached this subject of subtle error and how so many get hooked into something that is actually ungodly. I recently read an article in Charisma Magazine about the deception of Yoga. http://www.charismamag.com/life/health/19347-stretching-the-truth-about-yoga The labyrinth seems so harmless and a person would think it an holy experience. I am glad you never built one and later discovered why you were prompted not to. Thank you for hosting.
It is so subtle – if a church is doing it – then it’s okay? NO – we can’t take that train of thought. We have to search and pray for the truth. I get Charisma Magazine – somehow I missed that article. I keep them so I will check and check online too. Thanks for that.
I do think we need to be vigilant and discerning before we just jump into what is currently popular in the culture and even the church culture.
Yes churches can be deceived just as easily – maybe easier. We need to pray protection around our churches and pastors – for wisdom and discernment regarding “the world and their connection to that world”.
My thoughts are with you and I appreciate your post. I am being drawn to more time in the word and more time in prayer. Thank-you for hosting this community. Have a blessed Sunday!
I love being in the Word too – there is something that makes us closer to God when we study and pray.
Great post, Janis! Deception is so widespread from so many seemingly innocent pastimes — yoga, music lyrics, self-help, philosophy, “science,” “recreational” drugs, etc. I never thought about the labyrinth — great point. May we be sober and vigilant, firmly grounded in the truth.
Thank you Laurie,
Some people think I am over the top but I know what the Bible tells me. Watch out. Things are not what they seem – right?
I never gave yoga a second thought until I heard a school district was teaching it for physical education. Many parents were upset and the article explained how all the poses were signs of worship. Wow – I was enlightened! I stay away from all things yoga to this day.
Me too. When I read Ed’s article a number of years ago – I saw the light. But it is insidious how it can sneak in upon us. Now I have to test everything.
Blessings to you,