Know What to Refuse

by Jerry Senn

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
—Hebrews 11:24, 25

We know the story; Moses refused to be “called” something that he knew was not right for him. It was a wise choice. There are many such stories in Scripture, written for “our learning” (Romans 15:4).

David refused to take up (King) Saul’s armor to battle the giant. He said, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them” (2 Samuel 17:39).

“Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the King’s food, or with the wine that he drank” (Daniel 1:8). One of the most effective and needed qualities as we follow Jesus is to learn to say “NO” and stand by it.

After God anointed his ministry, Jesus was tested in the wilderness by three powerful temptations, refusing each one. When offered bread after a forty day fast, given a chance to show his power by jumping off the Temple, then, when offered to be the world’s ruler, our Lord refused saying “Satan, be gone”—‘get lost.’ (Matt 4:1–10). And Satan left him “for a season.”

Other temptations would come, but Jesus passed the test each time. He later refused to take part in a movement to make him king. “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself” (John 6:15).

We call this “sinless perfection”—he never once submitted to Satan’s attempts to destroy him and our hope of heaven. Jesus knew what he was assigned to become the “lamb of God,” giving his life’s blood, enduring God’s wrath, which we deserve! This involved knowing how to say “NO” to Satan in every moment and mean it.

Let’s use these examples of “refusals” in our weak moments when facing Satan’s enticing challenges. Just say “no” and mean it !!!

“So we would not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
—2 Cor 2:11