The same power that took man away from innocence is active still to move man away from the blessings of grace. You can see in the early chapter of Acts how quickly selfishness and self-interest came in to divert souls, and the same thing has continued to work wherever the Light of Christian blessing has gone. Where the truth of Christianity has come people are not so much diverted by violence as by self-interest.
Those who are invited to the great supper—a supper figurative of the festivity of heavenly grace—would not come because they were held by their own interests, not wrong things. The wrong was that they attached more importance to their own interests than to the feast of heavenly grace. This is the great snare of multitudes in Christendom, and the form in which the power of evil holds them. “All seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” If our own interests become dominant with us we shall most surely be diverted from all that is established in a risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.
Every blessing now is in connection with the Lord Jesus at the right hand of the Father. It is a great thing to have the consciousness that we are bound up with Him there in heavenly glory, and to know that we can follow Him into the sphere of resurrection and ascension and participate in all that constitutes His life to that blessed circle of love and glory where He lives unto the Father. If we apprehend this we shall not be deceived and intoxicated by what goes on in a condemned world.
In resting in the Father’s presence we are taken out of our own interests, like John who only thought of himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It is a blessed thing to abide in the consciousness of the love of the Lord Jesus—then we are protected from evil, and from the snares and wiles of Satan. To “continue in the Son and the Father” is the safeguard against all seductions.
Some think they must know errors and heresies in order to avoid them. Do you think the Father wants us to be acquainted with what is evil in that way? Not at all. We do need to explore and know all the evil; we cannot afford to waste our time in this way. If we occupy ourselves with evil we shall in some way be colored by it. The greatest thing is to be hidden with Him. In this day of religious evil the only true preservation is to be kept abiding in the Lord Jesus above.
All too many do not care to go beyond the thought of forgiveness, and a godly walk in the world, but it is the Father’s pleasure to bring us as priests into His presence. In approaching Him we get the knowledge of His mind and heart, and then there is edification. This is a great comfort. All too few enter into the privilege of priestly approach, but those who do are fitted to edify the whole company. Thus all are helped on in the same direction. One may be used to present the Father’s blessed things in such a way that all are attracted and encouraged to draw near with true hearts.
If we approach the Father it is entirely apart from all the imperfections of the flesh (sinful nature or “old man,” not the physical body—NC). We approach in all the sweet and perfection of the Lord Jesus. “They shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar.” It is as we are identified in affection with the perfections and acceptance of the Lord Jesus that we can approach for fellowship and worship.