When the Israelites’ greatness was spreading through the land, one group of people, the Gibeonites, planned to deceive the Israelites. Without seeking the counsel of the Lord first, the Israelites made a covenant with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:1-15). We should never be so sure of something that we don’t feel the need to consult God: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
Joshua and his men were deceived based on the appearance of these people who claimed to be from a far away country. The Bible warns us to “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). When we’re cautioned against false prophets, the Word says we’ll know a tree by its fruit. In the same way, we as Christians have a responsibility to be aware of our actions; we must not deceive ourselves by being hearers of the Word only (James 1:22).
The enemy gets the upper hand on us when we are ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). When we lack maturity, we can be kept blind and stuck. Maturity comes when we have a deep understanding of the objective truth of the Word of God. That means, we don’t base the meaning of scripture on our own feelings, perceptions or opinions. Knowing and understanding scripture, along with the Holy Spirit, we can discern and disarm the devices of the enemy.