“for among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions…” [2 timothy 3:2]

yesterday, we saw who wolves are, those who hurt, lead astray or demoralize the body of Christ. today, we see who they attack, who they prey on, so we can be ready and stand strong.

as paul says here, wolves or false teachers don’t confront head on. but rather, they prefer to sneak, to creep in and prey on those who aren’t rooted in the word of God. they target the weak and defenseless, those who are burdened by their sins and driven by those sinful passions.

this is all of us. how often do we feel burdened by our own sin, or led astray into sin because of our own sinful passions? but don’t let this discourage you, we have our defense, our protection, right here. it keeps us from being attacked and protects those around us from the wolves that would desire to come in and lead the body astray. we must be anchored in the presence of God. because in God’s presence, in the gospel, our sins are paid for and our hearts are drawn away from sinful passions and shaped into the image of God.

my dad used to work in the jewelry business and when he first started, one of the most important skills he had to learn was to be able to tell the difference between a real diamond and a fake one. as he was being trained and taught how to tell the difference between what was real and what was fake, his mentor gave him some of the best advise i’ve ever heard. he said, “don’t look at anything else! just look at diamonds. keep looking at diamonds.” nothing else mattered, because the more he studied what real diamonds looked like, the more obvious it would be when a fake diamond appeared.

that’s my encouragement to you, brother and sister, don’t look at anything else! just look at Jesus. keep looking towards Jesus! the more time we spend in his presence, spending time with him and in his word, the more blatant and obvious the false gospels will be to our souls.

souls that have spent time in the presence of God, feasting on his goodness, lack no good thing and will be satisfied only with the pure spiritual food that comes from basking in the goodness and presence of Jesus. may our hearts rejoice in his presence today and everyday and may we say with david,

“therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. for you will not abandon my soul to sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

you make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” [psalm 16:9-11]

~josiah bridges