Because the day of this devotional happens to be my husband’s birthday (happy birthday David!), what better time to tell a story of our young dating life? We were in a place in our dating relationship where we were ready to get engaged, or should I say, I was ready for David to pop the question at any moment. I was home for Thanksgiving break from seminary in 2021, and I was so confident it was going to happen around my birthday (right after Thanksgiving). I had created the most beautiful scenario in my head of exactly how it was going to happen. I had my nails painted and ready to go, and I was so giddy as I was getting on the plane to come from Waco, Texas.
Well, during that week… Monday went by, then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday. I was going to get on the plane to head back to school the next day when I finally asked him… “Well, is there anything you want to talk about?” He was clueless, and I was devastated. I said, “I thought you were going to propose!” and his response was “Why?” He had never told me he was going to propose that weekend. He had never really hinted at it either… I had told myself this was going to happen and deceived myself so much that it almost ended our relationship when it didn’t happen. (Hint, it was the next holiday break – and it really tested my patience!)
My own deception caused me to spiral and wonder if this was really the relationship I was supposed to be in! However, what David had said and done had been consistent all along. My personal experience of something not going the way I thought it would, or told myself the way it would go, did not change his character, or the truth that he cared for me deeply, which was what I had seen from him since the beginning of our relationship.
When it comes to our relationship with God, it may be easy to deceive ourselves into thinking God would act or speak differently than he would. However, God does not change from the moment we encounter him, and therefore we have confidence in him that even if things do not go the way we desire them to, or that God does not answer the prayer in the exact way you thought he would, it doesn’t change who God is.
1 John warns us of falling into things that would deceive us from thinking something different about who God actually is. Whether it is a false teacher, or our own false beliefs… the author says, “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.” From the beginning of time, God’s character has stayed faithful to us, therefore, we can have confidence in who God is, and trust that God is for us – regardless of what we may see or feel.
Questions for reflection:
- Have you ever been deceived? How did that feel?
- Have you experienced deception in your faith? Whether it is from another person, or yourself? How did you resolve this and are there any false beliefs you need God to speak into? Share those with God.