Our only safeguard.
by Norbert Restrepo
George Bernard Shaw wrote: “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.”
The enemy of souls has always understood this fact. He successfully deceived Eve by making disobedience seem desirable. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he took advantage of Jesus’ great need—His hunger—to induce Him to turn stones into bread. He crafted his temptation as something indispensable for survival. Jesus’ response was very clear: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. Jesus’ love for His Father—His desire to fulfill God’s will and not His own—was greater than His hunger.
Consider another example. Peter did not want to believe that Christ had to suffer and die. Therefore, when Jesus announced His sufferings and death, Peter rebuked Him saying, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Matthew 16:22. Jesus’ response was clear: “Get thee behind me, Satan;…for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Then He stated: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:22-24.
When we are unwilling to deny ourselves, we are easily deceived into choosing things contrary to God’s will, just like the Israelites who desired flesh foods and a king to rule over them. Today we might be choosing worship styles, endorsing entertainments, adopting fashions, and redefining gender roles based on our opinions, cultural preferences, and desires rather than on a clear “thus saith the Lord.”
This was Cain’s attitude. He brought an offering to be blessed by the Lord that was according to his preference. He was not seeking to please God, but himself. When we place our preferences and opinions first, we set ourselves up for deceptions.
Satan will soon use all power and signs and lying wonders to deceive us. Our only safeguard against his deceptions is “the love of the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10. But this requires self-denial, and who wants to deny himself? Only agape love will deny itself.
Oh, that we would know the depth of God’s love! Oh, that we would study His Word and accept His commandments and instructions that are meant for our protection, happiness, and utmost good! Oh, that we would be filled with “the love of the truth!”