Clouds of Deception
By Linda C Dipman

   The beautiful rays of the sunset dimmed and darkness began to blacken the night sky.  Clouds crept slowly in
blocking the moon and the stars.  All at once what once was filled with beautiful light was now animated with the
expectancy of a fierce storm.

   It was as if the night had a plan to go on the hunt for those who were carefree and secure in their worldly life.
Unsuspecting people who thought they were safe and secure in the lives they created for themselves.  People
who lived for pleasure and did what was necessary to get what they wanted no matter who it might hurt.

   A shutter of dread crept into my mind as I realized I was seeing a vision more horrible than any one person
could imagine.  An image of how Satan comes into a person's life and takes away their faith in God.

   God used the night as an illustration of how Satan comes into a persons life and little by little dims the truth
given by the Spirit that was once so bright.  He does this by pulling that person into living in the world for what it
has to offer.  Using people to give them what they want.  And taking what they want from others through deceit
and manipulation.

   I am an upholster by trade.  I have done this for over thirty years, but it is only my form of work.  It is not my life!
 My true identity is my faith in a living God.  A God of supernatural ability.  A God who defines me from the Spirit
of good He placed in my heart that leads me down paths of light.

   A God of truth that parts the darkness of clouds that surrounds most people's lives and sets my mind to
understanding so I won't fall into the traps that are set to devour the simple minded of the world. Temptations that
pull at every person who doesn't hold onto the teachings of Christ found in the Bible and the inner voice of the
Holy Spirit.
   
   Because of the Spirit, God placed in me, I am different from the people of the world.  I am easily taken
advantage of because I give generously.  I love freely, but most of the time the love I give is not returned.  I give
away my upholstery work to help others live more comfortably, but I am seldom repaid for the good I give.  Yet I
never give up no matter what others do to me, because I am a soldier of Christ.

   Galatians 5:16&17, "What I say is this:  let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the
human nature.  For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is
opposed to what our human nature wants.  These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you
want to do."

   This is the reason so many people of the world are darkened in their minds over right and wrong.  When God
is not holding your hand and leading you through the world then you are being led by your human nature.

   Human nature desires for us to take care of ourselves.  It fights for what we want others to give us without us
having to do the work.  It deceives us with desires that are greater than integrity and honesty.  We covet;  and
greed becomes so great that love becomes useless and dead.

   Galatians 5:19-21, "What human nature does is quite plain.  It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent
actions;  in worship of idols and witchcraft.  People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry,
and ambitious.  They separate into parties and groups;  they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other
things like these.  I warn you now as I have before:  those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of
God"

   The biggest pull that Satan has in a person's life is how he can manipulate a person into going out and
partying for the sake of having fun. Fun that makes drinking a game of how much you can hold without throwing
up.  And once drunk, how free you become with what is acceptable like smoking, taking drugs or having sex with
multiple people.  

   Satan uses medications and drugs in order to pull at our desires and take away our ability to exercise self
control.  This is the reason that many young women and men have accidental children.  Children who are born of
lust and not into a loving strong household built with God's protection of marriage. Children are born, who are
destined to follow in the footsteps of their adulterous parents.

   It is as if a tiny cloud that was once insignificant suddenly became engorged and spread like a gigantic earth
scattering storm.  Weather that was created from one small step in the wrong direction and then another step was
taken and another until that person's life was so totally caught up in the world that his soul was lost to God
forever.

   A child born out of wed lock tests the parents.  It reveals to all people what kind of heart they have.  If the
parents are good then they take the challenge of the child and change their lives in order to provide a good life
for their child.  But if the heart of the parents are about their human desires and how they just want to have fun,
then the child is not important and others are placed in charge.

   A Grandmother becomes responsible for the child that was born of their son's desires, because she won't allow
her child to take responsibility for his mistakes.  As a result the child becomes a pond in the hands of parents who
use the child as leverage to get what they want from the grandmother.  Once Satan has a firm hold in the care of
the child all people involved, stop loving each other, because of the cruelty involved with taking care of the
unwanted birth.

   This is the cloud of deception that comes in and blocks out any truth that God has to give a person who is in
trouble.  They begin to think only of themselves and give no thought of how to help others.  This happens
because Satan has made such a wreck out of their live that all hope has been diminished and dread has
replaced long suffering with hate for what their lives have become.

   When our minds have become completely clouded from the sin that surrounds our lives, then our existence
becomes an acceptable norm.  We begin to envy those who seem to be living good lives.  And in our effort to
survive our lives we take what is theirs.  We don't work for it ourselves!  We use others for our own personal gain.

   Galatians 5: 22-26, "But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
humility, and self-control.  There is no law against such things as these.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus
have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires.  The Spirit has given us life; he must also
control our lives.  We must not be proud or irritate one another or be jealous of one another."

   Wisdom comes to those who dedicate themselves to God and allow Him to influence their lives.  They follow the
teachings handed down in the Bible.  They learn from their past mistakes.  They let God help them to understand
what they did wrong.  And once God is completely back in control, He awakens their desire for their lost love and
fills their hearts with hope giving them a way out of their present life.

   Like I said I am defined by my faith.  I am not defined by how much money I have.  I am defined by how I forgive
those who use me.  I am defined by how I love no matter what people do to me.  I am defined by the Holy Spirit
who refuses to allow me to become darkened by the clouds of deception that make me hate those who use me
for their own personal gain.

   Jesus Christ came to bring light into the world.  He suffered and died so we would have an easier path to
forgiveness.  He rose again so we would have hope that anything we do wrong in this world can be overcome if
we will only place our faith in Him and trust Him with our life.