"...to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God..." Acts 26:18 (NIV)

Have you ever felt yourself pulled into a forbidden but exciting situation? You sense red flags but convince yourself you can handle it. "I'm just having a little fun. This won't ever amount to anything. It just gives me a little something to look forward to."

That's the way a friend of mine felt when a nice guy at work started paying attention to her. Her marriage was hard and she was tired of trying so much. She found herself putting extra effort into getting dressed in the morning and being more than willing to work late.

She felt a spark in her heart every time he came near. Soon, they were talking in secret. Texting in secret. Meeting in secret. And down the slippery slope she went.

The slippery slope has one major tell tale sign—things are done in secret.

The minute we start hiding things from those who love us, doing things in a sneaky way, lying or telling half-truths, and figuring out ways to cover up evidence of our activities—we're on the slippery slope. And we're headed downhill fast.

Satan is the master of darkness. As long as he can keep us operating in our dark secrets, we are deceived. In the Message, Acts 26:17-18 we are reminded:

"'I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.'"

Oh sweet friend, we need to see the difference between dark and light and choose light. We need to bring our choices out into the light of Jesus so He can expose the truth. Only then can we truly discern the difference between being led by Jesus or deceived by Satan.

Things done in secret are an indication of being led by Satan. That's a strong statement but one worth really considering.

Satan keeps dangers off our radar screen and blinds us to the harsh realities coming our way. My friend was blinded. And when she finally woke up to the deception, the devastation horrified her.

If you're keeping secrets today, bring them out into the light:

• Find a trusted Christian friend and ask them to help you hold your choices up to the truth.

• Get honest with people who love you.

• Build accountability measures in your life.

• Ask Jesus for help, forgiveness, and a clear understanding of how to put on the brakes and throw things in reverse. Let His truth speak louder than the feelings that are begging you to keep things hidden. Like the end of verse 18 says, "begin real living by believing in me."

The path to real living—the living that will sustain you and lead you to a true discovery of real love, real provision and real satisfaction—is found only by following Jesus.

Dear Lord, protect me from the darkness of Satan today. Help me to bring my choices into Your light, because only You can expose the truth. You are the only way. In Jesus' Name, Amen.