The more time we spend concerning ourselves with selfish pursuits, the less time we have to live the life God created us to live. Most of us would not consider ourselves selfish, but the truth is we spend far more time focused on ourselves than on Christ or anyone else. Our modern society attempts to dictate how we should live, feeding subtle – and not so subtle – messages into our minds at a dizzying rate. Satan has masterfully disguised his undermining of God’s character by manipulating the societal forces that play into our psyches every day. The tricks of the devil are as old as creation. He tempted Eve by questioning the trustworthiness of God, implying He had an ulterior motive to keep her from eating of the forbidden fruit. Today He slyly convinces us that we need more “stuff” and to look out for ourselves first, clearly calling into question God’s ability to provide for our needs.
Our every joy and satisfaction can and should be found in Jesus Christ. The more closely we follow in His footsteps and surrender to His Lordship, the more we discover this to be true. We have only ourselves to blame when we pursue anything other than Christ. Sure, Satan provides the distraction, but it is we who turn our eyes toward it. It is our choice to linger at the moment of temptation, and the responsibility of choice is our divinely granted privilege. There’s no truth to the old “the devil made me do it” statement. The devil tells us lies about the character of God, and it is we who choose to believe them. We have the power of Jesus coursing through our veins, so it is impossible for Satan to make us do anything. The devil is a defeated foe in the presence of the strength of Christ.
We are selfish in that we allow ourselves to be lured from the promises of God and choose to follow the lies of Satan instead. We think our pursuits are more satisfying than the pursuit of our Savior. God loves you with an incomprehensible love; He considers you to be of unsurpassable worth. He went so far as to send His only Son to die a gruesome and horrific death upon a cross to redeem us and save us from the evil in which we had chosen to wallow. This very God promises each of us rest and an abundant life (Matthew 11:28; John 10:10), if only we would bow before Him and surrender our petty desires.
Remember whenever we choose to do anything that stands in contrast to the character of God, we are being selfish and allowing Satan to question the very integrity of God. Jesus has revealed Himself to us through His Word. We either choose to believe He is who He says He is, or believe the lies of Satan. As creatures blessed with freewill, the choice is ours. Saying “the devil made me do it” doesn’t fly. We have freewill. We choose. Our selfishness leads only to death. The promises of God are the only source of life.