Sunset, lonely tree

Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them. Deuteronomy 11:16

Our God is so amazing. Majestic. Gracious. Loving. We may think, “I would never serve another.” But tragically, it happens all the time. People who have known and loved God — sometimes for many years — turn aside and begin to worship other gods. It seems impossible. How does it happen?

The problem, Scripture warns, is that our hearts can be deceived. The Hebrew word implies being “lured” or “enticed.” It’s the word used for how Samson’s wife enticed him into revealing the secret of his power.

The world is full of bright, shining, incredibly desirable enticements. Look into your own heart. You know what tugs at it there. Those enticements seem so desirable, but they have a fatal capacity to deceive. Over time their place in our heart expands. God’s place shrinks. Imperceptibly, spiritual deception grows. Almost without knowing it, we can end up worshiping these enticements more than the real God.

The deception is thinking that it won’t matter, that God will be OK with divided loyalties, satisfied with a small corner of our life. He is not. “Worship only the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt with great strength and a powerful arm. Bow down to him alone, and offer sacrifices only to him” (2 Kings 17:36).

Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, fell victim to this deception. “Oh, guard my soul,” he  writes (Psalm 25:20). It’s a good prayer for all of us!

Lord, I am so easily enticed. I want to worship you alone. Guard my soul. Build in me a true heart for you above all other things. Amen.

By Dr. Guy Safford

Used by permission

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