One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived. (Niccolo Machiavelli) Mr. Machiavelli has been referred to at the "father of modern political science" because of his commentaries on unscrupulous and oftentimes quite diabolical politicians. While I don't adhere to much of what he describes as "normal operations" within politics, his observations were nonetheless true. Politics at the time of his writings allowed the engagement of some rather immoral and often hurtful tactics. Writing during the Renaissance period, he often observed human life being taken in the name of 'political advancement', mattering not to those with political aspirations as to how many lives were lost. His conclusion is that there would always be individuals set on deception - and there would always be those who would allow themselves to be duped by the tactics of these deceivers.
I am always checking things out on Snopes or Google because the thing just looks a little fishy to me that comes across my email or on my social media feed. I research an item before I purchase it to see what others might have to say about it. I want their unsolicited feedback, not the feedback of those who have been paid to give it! If I get a 'gut read' that alerts me to something being a little 'wonky' with someone or something, I usually get doubly concerned that I not be duped by whatever it is. Maybe some would label me a little bit of a skeptic, or with paranoia issues, but the truth of the matter is that there are a whole lot of people and things put out there today that are dead set on deceiving us one way or another. We not only need 'good radar' to ferret them out, we need "God-Radar" to expose them for what they are!
Our passage today reminds us we can each be misled - deceived. It isn't that we set out to be misled, it is that we get ourselves into the mindset or emotional place that allows for us to be misled. If you have ever noticed just how easily you were 'derailed' in your choices or actions, you might just also realize you were actually led by something. It may not have been anything outside of yourself, though, because our own mind and emotions can be quite misleading at times! This is why we need to guard our emotions and hearts - allowing them to be misled is not an option! We need God to place his protection over our lives so we aren't 'taken in' by either our own lusts and desires, or the lusts and desires of others who seek to mislead us.
God-Radar is more than just a blinking light that tells us something is about to intersect our path - it is that early warning system that tells us immediate course correction is critical in order to avoid collision with what seeks to cross our path. We can be assured of this - there will always be 'stuff' and 'people' who will seek to cross our path with what can prove to be very harmful for us. We can also be equally assured that God will alert us to the dangers ahead, but we have to heed the alert! Just sayin!