I love watching deer in the wild. They are beautiful animals with sensitive natural defenses. God placed big eyes on the sides of their heads to spot even the slightest movement from miles away. Deer also have large ears to hear predators approaching and a sense of smell that can tell what you had for breakfast… yesterday! Perhaps their greatest defensive tool is their innate sense of fear. They are always on the lookout for danger, and they run from the threat of danger. Good thing they do because danger is around every corner: predators, hunters, and busy roads. A smart deer is always alert to the possibility of danger.
A smart Christian is wary of danger too. I am not encouraging you to live in fear. The Bible is filled with verses instructing God’s people to live without fear. One such verse is Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” God’s people are free to live in peace. In fact, we are commanded to do so. Do not fear.
But we are also wise to recognize those things which threaten that peace. Truth matters, and bad doctrine and theology have serious consequences. Obedience matters too. Sin seeks to capture our affection and disrupt our intimacy with God. Even simple distractions are capable of distracting us from giving our hearts fully to Jesus Christ.
Drive the highways and see the carnage of the deer who failed to recognize the dangers around them. Then look around you to see those who have started the Christian walk well but ended poorly. It is sad to see the carnage of sinful living among those who have had a place in the church. Let us all run from danger and into the presence of God. The world, the flesh, and the devil will tempt you with temporary pleasure, but fulness of joy is only found in the presence of God. May Jesus be your hiding place where you find pleasures forever.
Psalm 32:10-11 – Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.