This past Sunday we looked at a picture of deception.

Opening Scripture

Isaiah 44:16-17  Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”

Isaiah 44:20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Deception is …
– the truth mixed with a little bit of a lie
– believing that a lying lifestyle is legit
– believes the lie to the point others can see what you cannot
– believes he can walk out of the deception on his own

Are you a poser?
– blaming others
– lack true intimacy with God and others
– an addiction you think you can handle (anger, alcohol, porn)

It doesn’t matter what you are addicted to as long as a part of your life is not controlled by the Holy Spirit, it is a stronghold of Satan.
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The greatest deception today is the blurring of the lines between a lifestyle of holiness and an anemic, fruitless lifestyle bent toward self and self satisfaction.

Read Ephesians 4:17-20 
Paul begins with a direct command – “Do not walk like the Gentiles walk!”

What does walking like a Gentile look like?
“The essential characteristics of the heathen life”
vs. 18 – They live in the ash heap eating ashes!

1.  vs.19 “Having become callous,” to harden like a stone
Sin hardens like a stone. You gradually, slowly harden until there is no remorse or regret.

2.  vs. 19 “Given over to sensuality,” shameless wantoness
This man no longer cares how he shocks the world; he no longer has the decency to hide his sin.

3.  vs 19 “The practice of every kind of impurity with greediness,” arrogant greediness
This man has an irresistible desire to have what belongs to another, what he has no right to have.
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Did you know…
– 420 million web pages dedicated to porn
– 42% of college students regularly visit explicit sites
– over half of 20 somethings are addicted to porn, started
at age 12-14
– Cambridge University study showed the brain of a porn
addict looks exactly like that of a drug addict

This is a picture of what it looks like to “feed on ashes.”
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Do you want a way out?

Read Ephesians 4:22-24
1.  Lay aside the old self.
2.  Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
music + movies + media = makes me who I am!
3.  Put on the new self, clothed in righteousness, 2 Cor. 5:17.
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Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit…

When you do these things it causes God crushing pain!
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Conclusion

Read Psalms 126:1-3 “The captives of Zion”
Are you being held captive by sin?
Do you have some habit you can’t escape”

Discussion: (It might be good to break into a men’s group and a women’s group to discuss further.)

What release from captivity do you need in your life today?
What does this kind of change look like?

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