by Linda Cox

Specks of purple gently swayed in the breeze, causing me to pause and gaze at the array of color. Purple flowers stood out as the plants nestled in the surrounding grasses brought back memories from several years ago.

The department I had worked for published a booklet to help rural landowners re-establish native plants and grasses, trees, and wildlife habitat on their property. A close-up photo of this purple flower had graced the cover in a striking display of color and beauty.

But, there was one “slight” problem.

You see, that plant with the beautiful purple flower is a musk thistle. In the State of Illinois (and many other states), it is classified as a noxious weed. Landowners are required by law to control its spread by eradicating it from their property or be ticketed and fined for not doing so. Not exactly an appropriate cover for that booklet.

A noxious weed masquerading as a beautiful purple flower. Remind you of anything?

… for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 NIV

Just like people in our department were deceived by the beauty of the purple flower, the devil also deceives us with things beautiful, luring us away from the Lord, from the path He has laid out for us. The devil blinds us until we are content with his masquerade and fail to seek the real beauty God has waiting for us—His salvation in Jesus Christ as revealed in the truth of His Word. And knowing the truth of His Word is the best protection against the deception of the devil.

If the people preparing that booklet had known the plants of Illinois better, they would not have been deceived by the purple masquerade of the musk thistle. As we study and learn God’s Word, and spend time in prayer, we too can avoid being deceived by the devil’s masquerade, no matter what color it is.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes . . . . Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, . . . Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions …

Ephesians 6:11, 14-18a NIV

Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but Linda occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson), The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity) and the Love Is a Verb devotional (Bethany House). She and her husband live on a farm with their two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.