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

Deuteronomy 11: 16

 

It seems that there are many things in which we need to trust in living our lives. We trust in the rising of the sun every day, and we rest in the certainty of the fact that gravity will hold us onto the earth’s surface. When we get into a car we start it and proceed believing that it will go where we direct it. Of greater importance is the fact that I have no question at all that I can trust God to be who He has always been and to do what He promises to do. However, I know that I need to be very careful about trusting my own heart to remain true to Christ’s calling and to always follow the righteous path that God has set out for me.

 

This world surrounds us with a very active campaign of deception and lies that Satan is fully committed to waging. I might say that I am clear about who I am and regarding the way that I will choose to travel through life. Of course, I wouldn’t deviate from the direction that is spelled out in God’s Word. After all, I am a new being, a redeemed soul, and Christ is lord of my life! All true statements, but also, they can be dangerous if they are claimed with the sort of arrogance and pride that convinces me that I have it all together. There is enough of the old, sin-influenced self left in me to provide evil with a place to start turning my mind a little left or a little right of God’s singular way. Unfortunately, small deviations from the righteous path can have disastrous consequences.

 

That is why Moses warned his people with such stern language. That is why God’s Word continues to warn us today in the same manner. The gods that I can turn to may not be stone carvings, but they demand my loyalty and my worship in ways that are just as compelling as those ancient false deities with their promises of health, power, contentment, and success. Anything that turns me away from humble dependence on God and submission to His will can become my personal idol. Thoughts and actions that seem to meet my needs and desires at the expense of trust and commitment are dangerous deviations from God’s direction for living. God demands and requires that I turn over all of my life to Him in sacrifice and worship. When I hold any of it back, I am dedicating that part of me to idolatry, and God is a jealous god who desires all of me. He is also a loving God who has given all of Himself to me.