3a “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way … ”
2 Thessalonians 2:3a (NIV)
Deception is a key part of sports. Misdirection plays add much to game strategy and play effectiveness. Fooling your opponent creates advantage. Good teams and good players won’t fool easily. They see, recognize, and stay fundamental.
Deception is also foundational to producing counterfeit money. The only way not to get exploited is to know the “truth,” the real thing, so well that you cannot be deceived.
Be aware that there are counterfeit gospels, as well. They are meant to deceive. Scripture says that there will be many such “gospels” pushed out there (2 John 1:7). When they come before us, we simply can’t afford to play that game. The Bible repeatedly warns us to be sincerely vigilant and not to be deceived (Matthew 24:4–24). We can’t let ourselves be taken.
Here’s how we become deceived:
THROUGH PRIDE. We allow ourselves to believe that we will not reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7) or that we are above being taken by others (Jeremiah 49:16, Obadiah 1:3). Without humility before God, we go unprotected through life, from without (others) and from within (self).
THROUGH IGNORANCE. We do not really know God’s Word very well. We believe what others, especially very “spiritual” people say, without personally testing their messages against what God’s Word truly says. We do not “test the spirits” as we should (1 John 4:1).
THROUGH CARELESSNESS. We do not read God’s Word carefully enough (2 Thessalonians 2:5,10b). We fail to read Scripture in context and make hasty conclusions to fit what we want to see, hear or have. In this way we deceive ourselves (1 John 1:8) Avoid fast, easy, law-based or lawless answers.
THROUGH BLINDNESS. We fail to open our eyes and see the wolves out there. When vigilance is not practiced, the enemies of our souls get in, corrupt us, and leave us spiritually bankrupt of truth (Matthew 7:15, 21–23).
Athlete, watch out. Don’t be deceived. Stay sound and fundamental. Live a life of victory over deception.