16 “Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.”
Deuteronomy 11:16 (NASB)
Beware! It is a warning to avoid inevitable and damaging consequences. We are all vulnerable to being deceived.
To be deceived is to be led to believe something that is not true, to act on false information. Deception opens the door for us to chase something that is not what it claims to be.
The writer of today’s verse warned God’s people that they were vulnerable to adopting the idols of those whom they lived among. Whether they were driven by fear or by the need to fit in or simply by curiosity, deception would be the thing that took them down the wrong road.
In 1 Corinthians 15:33, it says, “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals." Notice what is affected.
Bad company may not affect what you believe, but it will affect your moral choices and actions. To think otherwise is to already be deceived.
We tend to share the values of those people we hold most closely. We are not being told to avoid those who don’t share our commitment to God, but we are deceived if we are not on guard about their potential affect on us.
An NFL rookie grabbed me the minute I walked into the locker room on a Friday morning. “I should have come to the team Bible study last night, but I hung out with the guys who went looking for the wild and crazy clubs. They just wanted me to be their driver, but then I …”
You know the rest of the story.
The strongest followers of Christ on a sports team are most often found among a small band of men or women who intentionally follow Christ together. They find strength in accountability, common commitment and mutual encouragement.
Some questions to consider:
- Do I recognize where I am vulnerable to being deceived?
- Who is influencing my life? My choices?
- Who draws me to God? Who draws me away from Him?