I read yesterday that over three-quarters of all personal computers in the virtual world are protected by cyber security software. For those that aren’t, some people simply don’t realize the importance of having antivirus software from a trusted vendor that can protect their computer from cyber-attack, while other people place their trust in fake antivirus software that is harmful, also called “scareware.” According to Microsoft, “it’s easy to be fooled as scareware typically looks like the real thing.” The only way to protect your computer against attack, continues Microsoft, is to choose wisely in whom to trust when choosing a software vendor.
Our faith in God similarly requires that we safeguard it against attack. Sadly, spiritual attacks against one’s faith are becoming the norm. Recognizing our soul’s vulnerability and protecting ourselves from attack in the spiritual world is similar to recognizing and protecting ourselves from cyber-attack in the virtual world. But the stakes are higher. The only way to protect oneself from spiritual attacks is to procure spiritual protection against them. Christ counsels us to choose wisely in whom we trust to protect our soul. Christ promises to protect us if we trust in Him.
“Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me.” (John 14:1)
Still, God has given all of us the freedom of choice. This includes the freedom to choose who to trust in the spiritual sense. When we trust in Christ, our Lord will not forsake us.
“Lord, I trust in you alone.” (Psalm 31:1)
“All those who know your mercy, Lord, will count on you for help. For you have never yet forsaken those who trust in you.” (Psalm 9:10)
And by trusting in Christ, we also serve Him.
Sadly, according to a 2018 article entitled, “How Many Christians Are in the World Today,” author Mary Fairchild reports that over two-thirds of the world’s people have never been exposed to Christ or have otherwise placed their faith in false gods. It’s possible for both Christians and non-Christians to be fooled by false gods because false gods typically look like the real thing – or don’t even look like gods at all. Sometimes they take the form of another religion or sometimes they take the form of someone or something we love more than God. What we prioritize, how we spend our time, what we think about, and the money or material things we prize, tell us much about where we’ve placed our trust. They help to identify false gods in our lives.
Our choices, through action or inaction, reflect our hearts. God knows our hearts. Christ knows when we love our worldly treasures more than Him. He knows, even when we don’t realize it ourselves. Christ cautions us not to love earthly comforts more than spiritual ones:
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves. If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Earthly treasures compete for our love of Christ. Misplaced love creates false gods that can corrupt our relationship with Him. False gods can take many forms, alone or in combination. Some of these false gods include the following, but they are limitless in form and exceed our imagination:
When we trust solely in ourselves, our conceit becomes a false god that leaves us open to spiritual attack:
“A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.” (Proverbs 28:26)
When we place our faith in money, money becomes a false god that leaves us open to spiritual attack:
“Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish like a tree!” (Proverbs 11:28)
When we put our faith in our leaders or people of great wealth, influence or power, they can become false gods that leave us open to spiritual attack:
“It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in men. It is better to take refuge in him than in the mightiest king!” (Psalm 118:8)
When we act out of fear of another, that fear elevates the other to become a false god that leaves us open to spiritual attack:
“Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety.” (Proverbs 29:25)
When we place our faith in worldly military strength, our pride becomes a false god that leaves us open to spiritual attack:
“Some nations boast of armies and of weaponry, but our boast is in the name of the Lord our God. Those nations will collapse and perish; we will arise to stand firm and sure!” (Psalm 20:7-8)
We face the spiritual question of whom to trust every moment of our lives — whether consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or by neglect. How we answer that question affects our physical, emotional, and spiritual health — and defines our relationship with our Lord. It affects us in ways we cannot imagine. In the context of eternity, it is the most important decision we will ever make. Make it knowingly, not by neglect. Make it wisely. Place your trust in Christ.
The only way to safeguard our souls, is to have faith in our Heavenly Father and His Son – above all others and completely. Trust His love for us. Trust His promises. He knows everything about us, He knows what’s in our hearts, and He loves us. He is willing to forgive us, He will help us, He will comfort us, He will protect us spiritually, and He will save us from our sins.
“The Lord saves the godly! He is their salvation and their refuge when trouble comes. Because they trust in him, he helps them and delivers them from the plots of evil men.” (Psalm 37:39)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” (John 3:16-17)
Without Christ’s protection, we cannot defend ourselves successfully from spiritual attacks to our soul. We need Christ in our lives, and He came to this world to save us. We are dependent on Him — and only Him — for our eternal well-being. Because of this, and because He asks it of us, we must guard our relationship with Christ from all worldly distractions that compete for our love of Him — and compete for His trust.
Because a relationship with Christ that is not based on trust is no relationship at all.
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