Daily Readings: Genesis 7-8, Psalm 3, Matthew 4
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” – Matthew 4:8-10
Satan has grown more subtle over the years.
If I was confronted by the very real, in the flesh, Satan offering me the entire world, I would like to think I would be able to realize that this was the enemy and resist that temptation. However, temptations often don’t come in that form. Instead I frequently hear the following gentle whisper:
“This is just a season in your life. You can get more plugged into our church family once this busy season dies down.”
“Once your business is really thriving, think how much time you will have to give back to your community! Right now, you just need to keep your eye on the ball. It will be worth it. After all, life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
“There is no doubt that time with God in the morning is important. After you wrap up this one project, you should really start prioritizing that. Just take care of business now and your time will really free up.”
“This is simply a season of investing, taking care of debt, and getting your financial house in order. Once you knock that out, think how much more freely you will be able to give of your resources!”
Well played Satan. Well played.
I imagine I am not alone in this. Satan doesn’t need us to want total domination over the entire world to deter us from worshipping God. It can be far more subtle.
When reading this passage this morning I asked myself, “If someone took a good hard look at where I spend my time and my resources, what would people say that I worship?” Would it be my career? Physical health? Financial future? Entertainment? None of these things are bad. You should prioritize taking care of your body. You should be wise financially. You should work hard at whatever career God has placed you in. The question is, when time and money are short, what is the first thing that we cut? When the chips are down, what do we choose to worship?
This is an incredibly hard question, but one worth asking.
Jesus took Satan on, refused to buckle, and declared, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
My prayer today is that God would grant me the strength to do the same.
Thought to ponder
If other people looked at how I spend my time and my resources, what would they say I worship? What temptations has Satan dangled in front of me to take me off of the path of worshipping God?