January 16, 2012
How often have you wished for just a little more power at some time in your life … a little more authority or control in a situation … or relationship? Isn’t this what childhood, and especially teenagerdom, is all about? The “I can’t wait till I’m in charge” mentality. We all have great ideas and plans for a world in which we would have the final say. What we wouldn’t give for that gift, to be the ruler and final authority of our world.
Well, yesterday we looked at Jesus being tempted during His time of fasting in the desert. The second temptation He faced consisted of Satan promising Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Just what we all wish for, right? Well, to receive this kingship, Jesus would have to momentarily worship Satan.
Both Jesus and his tempter knew that Jesus would eventually gain these kingdoms anyway. So Satan was tempting Jesus to take hold of something that was rightfully His, but by the wrong means … taking it sooner … avoiding imminent pain and suffering … avoiding the cross. And in the process, Jesus would have to bow down and worship the devil … to call Satan lord of His life … blow off God’s timeline, authority, and plan in favor of Satan’s plan. Do you really believe Satan would, or even could have honored his part of the agreement anyway? Well, that’s another devotional.
Once more, Jesus refused to give in to the temptation. Again, he quoted the truth of the Scriptures, revealing the root of the temptation by showing the right form of worship. His Father has the perfect agenda and timeline, and is the only One worthy of His and our worship.
We live in a time of instant gratification. Our fast-paced world and never-ending flow of instant responses via cell phones, internet, texting, and QVC have molded us to want and expect instant gratification. We want it NOW, if not sooner.
Sometimes, we may know in our hearts that God has a plan to take care of a situation, but we don’t want to wait. We want the solution now. So, instead of waiting for God’s plan to unfold, we manipulate things to make our plan happen now. My will vs. Thy will. Satan tempts us with so many shortcuts. And be very clear about this: in rejecting God’s plan, we are bowing down to Satan. So whom do you want to bow to?
Today, let us learn from the example Jesus has set for us. Let us choose God’s way, God’s timing-always the best way and the best timing. Learn patience and perseverance. They come from trusting God’s love and provision for you. That’s better than what your feeble mind can come up with or what Satan will flash to grab and distract you from God’s will. Your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, I bow to You, Father. All glory to You, my Lord. Forgive me for the times I have not been willing to wait and do things the right way … Your way, the best way for me, but have taken a shortcut. Help me to be willing to wait. Teach me to trust You more and to choose Your way and Your timing, I know Your timing is perfect. I pray this in the name of the One who teaches us how to worship You, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
The devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be Yours.’ Jesus answered, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” Luke 4:5-8
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.
He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Daniel 3:17,18,25,28