So it shouldn’t surprise us that much of the enemy’s efforts are focused on leading us away from God and His truth. The ultimate deception of the enemy is to get humanity to worship anything other than the one true God. In the earlier days of mankind, this often took the form of presenting themselves as gods.
They provoked His jealousy with foreign gods; they enraged Him with detestable practices. They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods they had not known, new gods that had just arrived, which your fathers did not fear. (Deuteronomy 32:16-17)
We see here that the sacrifices offered to the gods of that day were actually offered to demons. I think we often assume that these ancient gods were made up by people, figments of their imaginations. But I’m not so sure that is true. It appears more likely that the demons deceived the people, possibly quite tangibly, into thinking they were gods. Here’s a brief excerpt from Restoration’s Journey, where a demon reflects on those days:
In his homeland he had acquired great respect and even the worship of the locals. They thought he was a god. He gave great power to those who followed him. They painted images of him—even on their crypts. Now he was reduced to chasing a measly child like some kind of rabbit. Cursed Creator and that bumbling traitor Moses. Even the wind-swirled fog reminded Ophois of the tempestuous currents of the crashing walls of water in the Red Sea. – Restoration’s Journey
But that was then, right? We are much more sophisticated. We would never fall for that. Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, there are many ways to draw people’s worship from the true God.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! (Galatians 1:8)
You see, any form of gospel (good news about how to be right with God) that does not have as its sole focus the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son is a false gospel—a deception of the enemy. And the enemy is clever, their “good news” will often appear logical, attractive, and at times even God-honoring. “And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Remember the only way to win this battle with a deceptive and wily foe is to “submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)