October 23 - Making the Right Confession
I can illustrate “confession” from a book entitled Fear No Evil, written by Natan Sharansky, a Jewish refusenik. Sharansky was not a Christian, but even so, the KGB (Soviet secret police) arrested him and put him through nine years of misery. As I read his story, I saw in the KGB the most vivid demonstration of Satan and his tactics. In Natan Sharansky, I recognized the way to win. He was a highly qualified chess player, and he decided to deal with the KGB as he would with a chess opponent: by staying one move ahead.
Though he did not have a faith in a personal God, he did have a concept of God through his Jewish roots. Many Jewish prayers begin with “O Lord, our God, king of the universe.” In teaching himself Hebrew, he decided to write out a prayer that he could repeat whenever needed. It was a petition for God to be with him, protect his family, and bring him to Israel. Whenever he was under pressure—for instance, awaiting interrogation—he would repeat the prayer several times. He said that prayer about ten times a day for nine years—that amounts to more than thirty thousand times! How many Christians would go on praying the same prayer thirty thousand times?
One aim of the KGB was to get Sharansky to make the wrong confession. If he would just say that he was a traitor, they would release him. But he refused. The battle raged for nine years. By making the right confession and reiterating the right prayer, he won. Being victorious, he later immigrated to Jerusalem.
How that impressed me about Satan’s tactics! Satan uses every kind of pressure, every inducement, every lie—all with one aim: to get us to make the wrong confession. We defeat him, however, by maintaining the right confession.