I have always been interested in what makes a good salesman. Especially those who can talk you into to buying what you don't want. My first foray into the sales market was in college, I took the job to but put food on our table. My supervisor said it was easy because everyone needed one. I sold cemetery plots. The first time I went out with him we sat down with a young family of five. By the end of the night they had purchased several plots, even though they really couldn't afford them. My supervisor had preyed on their emotions. He had buried their children several times in the conversation until they couldn't help but secure their eternal resting place. I never could bring myself to do that and never sold a single lot.
Have you ever sat across the table from a timeshare salesman? I have on numerous occasions. I was always sucked in with the promise of free gifts and I dragged Rebecca with me. Every single one of them lied and bullied to get us to sign on the dotted line. "How could we not want what they sold, how dare I waste their time, I could use it as a tax write off, it will be worth more when you want to sell it, it is the best thing since sliced bread and I have five of them." Expose yourself long enough and they will wear you down. Yes, I have one.
There are plenty of honest and truthful salesmen, but the profession's reputation has been sullied by the words and actions of the unscrupulous. They have this way of talking fast, throwing nice and fancy words at you until you start to believe their tale. Everything inside of you says run, but the incentive is only good right now and it sounds so good.
The Apostle Paul told the Ephesians not to be deceived by empty words, futile words, foolish words, vain words, and meaningless words. But how do we know when the words spoken fall into those categories? Surely science can be trusted, experience can't be denied, or feelings rejected.
We are surrounded by deceptive words that try to turn us away from God and His righteousness. They are words that seem compassionate and reasonable. They tell us that happiness is the ultimate goal and that a loving God wouldn't want us to be unhappy. They reject the ancient ways of God as irrelevant and outdated. They paint a picture of life without him that would free us of hate, war, and restraint, and it seems reasonable. Everything inside of me tells me to run but it sounds so good. The question remains, how do I know the truth?
Jeremiah 6:16 says "Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls."
The ancient paths lead us through the halls of God's word, which lights the way and leads us to truth. We fight deception through standing on the truth of God's words. When we don't we find ourselves spiraling into darkness. It reminds me of Romans 1:8ff where Paul describes what happens when we forget the truth of God.
1. They knew God, but didn't honor Him or give Him thanks
2. They became futile in their thinking with foolish and darkened hearts.
3. They claimed to be wise but became fools.
4. They exchanged the glory of God for man made images.
Therefore God gave them over
1. To the lusts of their hearts to impurity
2. To the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves
God gave them over
1. To dishonorable passions
2. Women were consumed with passion for one another.
3. Men committing shameless acts with one another.
God gave them up
1. To a debase mind
2. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, and malice.
3. They are full of envy, murder, deceit, maliciousness.
4. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless.
Though they knew God's righteous commands they approved and participated in sin.
I think covers just about everything and the outcome of not acknowledging God is abandonment and wrath.
How have you neglected the word of God and listened to the empty words of the most deceptive salesman of all? Satan, in the garden, spun a tale that promised something that Adam and Eve thought they wanted. It sounded good, noble, and desirable. And didn't God want the very best for them? As a result they bought the lie and plunged the world into sin, and brought on us all the wrath of God, and the cycle continues today. Heed the warning, let no one deceive you with empty words. Don't believe me, check it out for yourselves. I'm just saying...
Ephesians 5:6 "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience."