It was a luau in St. Louis, displaced several thousand miles from Hawaii. During the year I lived there for my dermatopathology fellowship, the president of the local Hawaii club at Washington University, invited me as his special guest to attend their annual gathering. I was delighted and when I arrived at the luau, I was greeted with a lei and seated with other professors and faculty members. I was the only one from Hawaii and I took on the role of ambassador to Hawaii for my new tablemates. As the food was served, I explained the nature of the dishes. When the poi arrived, three of the women, all Ph.D. professors in the departments of english and anthropology, recoiled.
“Ewww,” one of them exclaimed. “This is poi, right? It looks gross!”
“Well…you know you’re not supposed to eat it!” The woman looked at me, confusion rippling across her face at my declaration.
“But don’t they always serve this at luaus?”
“Yes, of course.” I maneuvered in front of the bowl of gray pasty goo and held it up. “Hawaiians only serve it at luaus when haoles, or visitors to the islands, are present. They never eat this stuff!”
Now they were really confused! “Then what do they do with it?”
I stuck my finger into it. “The Hawaiians use this for building material, kind of like the stuff we use for caulking.” I pulled my finger out, the poi tenaciously sticking to it. “See, it’s a great glue and adhesive agent.”
“Come on!” The women were all laughing, wise to my charade. “Is this true?”
“Trust me, I’m a doctor!” I winked.
“So are we!” The three women giggled and draped their arms around each other.
Whom do you trust?
I was on a table seated with physicians, Ph.D. scientists, and scholars-all experts in their respective fields of study. Although I was jesting about the poi, I initially sounded very authoritative and likely could have succeeded in convincing some of them of my lies. And why not? I was a professional like them and I hailed from Hawaii. Their guards were down. Why wouldn’t I speak the truth?
…He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44 (ESV)
No rational person would knowingly trust themselves with Satan. Even for non-believers, Satan is portrayed as the embodiment of evil. Yet, trusting Satan is far more subtle than we may realize. Ridiculous! This is the 21st century! We don’t engage in lurid idol worship or sacrificing animals upon a pentagram.
We may not. We live in age when pundits state the only reality is what we can empirically measure and see. We trust with our eyes, mind, and heart. And this is the problem. In circumstances we may deem safe and non-threatening, Satan may attack with subtle lies, whispered innuendoes. Like my jesting at the luau, it may begin innocently with true facts but can radically turn tangential, seducing and devouring everyone in its path.
It happened to Eve when she was confronted by Satan in the Garden of Eden. Satan twisted and added to God’s Word and commands to her to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. He convinced her that God surely did not mean everything He told her and was, in fact, hiding a secret blessing from her. She would not die but instead have her eyes opened, knowing good and evil. She would be…just like God!
When I trust my own desires, when I allow my goals to supplant God’s, I am trusting Satan. He wants to convince me to be…just like God. We can never trust Satan. He subtly encourages me to divert my attention away from God and onto myself. The only hope I have is to confess and repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Satan knows he is already defeated but he will do everything he can to convince me otherwise and trust him.
No. Only Jesus Christ is worthy of our complete trust.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.