“[The Idolater] feeds on ashes. His deceived mind has led him astray, and he cannot rescue himself, or say, ‘Isn’t there a lie in my right hand’” (Isaiah 44.20)?
I am readily deceived because my own heart is deceitful. My old nature resides in me. The more I depart from the truth of God’s Word, the more open to self-deception I become. I give into the evil that is in my heart. I fail to have the spiritual perception I need to battle temptation. I rationalize and give into my own way and will. I’m spiraling. I “do not comprehend and cannot understand, for [God] has shut [my] eyes so [I] cannot see, and [my mind] so [I cannot understand” (Isaiah 44.18). “No one comes to his senses; no one has the perception or insight to say, I burned half of [my idol] in the fire, I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and ate. Should I make something detestable with the rest of it? Should I bow down to a block of wood” (Isaiah 44.19)? This is feeding on the ashes of idolatry. “His deceived mind has led him astray” (v. 20).
Ecclesiastes 9.3 says that the hearts of people are full of evil. Madness is in their hearts while they live. They are pursuing a banquet in the grave. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it” (Jeremiah 17.9)? My old self is corrupted by deceitful desires (Ephesians 4.23). There is another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is still there within me (Romans 7.23). My conscience tells me that I’m headed down the wrong path or that what I’m doing displeases God. “Light has come into the world, and people love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed” (John 3.19-20). I cannot have peace if I follow the dictates of my own heart. A drunkard is not numbered among the sober (Deuteronomy 29.19). “Each person is tempted when he is drawn away (self-deception) and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death” (James 1.14-15). Self-deception leads to sin. Sin leads to death. I need a great Savior to save me from myself!