Have you ever wondered what effect your environment has on you? It’s amazing how your perceptions and assumptions shape your experiences. For example, what is it like to be expecting milk when your glass is filled with orange juice? Your mind has you prepared to taste milk, but you are quite surprised when it tastes all wrong. The missed expectation causes you momentary disorientation.
Things aren’t always like they seem!
The Sunday before I am writing this was the end of daylight savings time. I was out of town with my two oldest children. We had a long day of travel that Sunday. I didn’t notice the time when I got home. We just worked at unloading the truck and then sat down to supper. After supper, all the children went to bed. I was tired and ready for bed myself. Just then my wife exclaimed that we still had another hour. She hadn’t changed the clocks yet! Suddenly, I didn’t feel so tired. I had trusted what the clocks said. My wife gave me a new (and correct) reality.
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived,
and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
Deuteronomy 11:16 (KJV)
I have always liked the word discernment. It is something that I pray that I may have. It means to distinguish one thing from another as truth from faleshood, or virtue from vice. I think that in many ways being discerning is the opposite of being deceived. This verse, Deuteronomy 11:16 is a warning from God so that we are not deceived into serving other gods. We need godly discernment in order to take heed as God has instucted us.
How can we grow in discernment? My example above, with the clocks, shows just how easily we can be deceived, especially when we are tired or not paying attention. How could I have discerned the correct time? I would need to look at a clock that is set to the correct time! How can we discern what God would have us to do? We need to look at God’s word. Through the Holy Spirit and prayer, we will be able to discern spiritual matters. We need to be right spiritually ourselves if we want to teach and lead our children to be right spiritually.
Take a moment and open your Bible to Deuteronomy, Chapter 11. Start in verse 16 and read all the way through to verse 21. See how God’s truth is passed on from generation to generation? Isn’t this what we are doing by teaching our children at home? Is it God’s word that fills your home and your children’s experiences, or is it some other god’s words that do? Be discerning and be not deceived. Take heed to yourselves. May you worship the living God with your life. May your children see your example and want to worship Him, too.