February 2-3, 2013
How often have you wished for just a little more power at some time in your life … more control in a difficult situation, a little more power in a relationship? Isn’t this what childhood, and especially teenagerdom, is all about? The “I can’t wait ‘til I’m in charge” mentality. We all have great ideas and plans for that imaginary but magical world in which we have the final say. What would we not give for the gift of being the ruler and final authority of our world!
Yesterday we looked at Jesus’ first temptation during His time of fasting in the desert. The second temptation He faced occurred when Satan promised Jesus not just one kingdom, but 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 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 inevitable humiliation and torture, pain and suffering … and ultimately the cross. And in the process, Jesus would have to bow down and make a deal with 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, even if he could, have honored his part of the agreement anyway? Well, that’s probably 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 has molded us to desire and expect instant gratification and a never-ending flow of instant connections via cell phones, internet, texting, quick meals via microwaves and fast food, shopping at our fingertips with amazon and QVC. We want it NOW, if not sooner. In fact, we often think we deserve it now.
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 events and circumstances to make our plan happen now. My will vs. Thy will. Satan knows our weaknesses and tempts us with many shortcuts. Be very clear about this: in rejecting God’s plan, we are bowing down to Satan. So, to whom do you want to bow?
Today, let’s learn from the example Jesus has set for us. Let’s choose God’s way and God’s timing — always the best way and the best timing. Learn patience and perseverance, which come from trusting God’s love and provision for you. Remember who really loves you and sacrificed so much for you. Beware what Satan will flash in your face to grab your attention and distract you from God’s love and peace. Whom you bow to is 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 to do things the right way … Your way, the best way for me. 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