Temptation! Jesus stood on the mountain, gazing at the kingdoms of the earth in, what the Bible refers to as, a moment in time. He had been led there by Satan in a futile attempt to tempt Him into worshipping him.
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” Luke 4:5-6 (KJV)
One thing that should be noted about this Biblical narrative of the temptation of Jesus is this; Jesus never argued or disputed Satan’s authority to give what he offered Him. He replied by saying:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8 (KJV)Jesus never argued or disputed Satan's authority to give what he offered Him #temptation Click To Tweet
He disputed WHO was to be worshipped, but He did not dispute the right Satan had to offer Him the kingdoms of the world. Satan specifically states that the power he has to give it to Him was “delivered unto me”. It was a permissive power, much like the one we see offered to him by God in the book of Job. We know God allows Satan certain power…for a time.We know God allows Satan certain power...for a time. #spiritualwarfare Click To Tweet
But what exactly is Satan trying to achieve here? He knows who He is. He knows this is the promised Messiah. He knows He is the Son of God. So why would Jesus be tempted by power? Surely he knows Jesus ultimately possesses it.
What Satan is truly tempting Jesus with here is not power, but accelerated power. He is offering Him power in the NOW. Why wait Jesus? I can give this all to you RIGHT NOW! Just worship me and it’s yours today! No cross, no sacrifice, no atoning death. Power now! This was an attempt to defeat the work of the cross before it happened in an effort to save his own hide using instant power!
How many times do we fall into the temptation of the NOW? How many times do we fall into the trap of wanting the fast track? The easy route? The ability to bypass the line? More power with more speed?
Satan in all his trickery tempts us with power, yes. But he more subtly tempts us by offering it the easy way or the dishonest way in order to get us there faster. He may not usher us up to the top of the mountain to show us the kingdoms of the earth…he doesn’t have to. We all have the ‘kingdoms” we have constructed that he can offer us.How many times do we fall into the temptation of the NOW? #spiritualwarfare Click To Tweet
We are a society that thrives on the “instant”.
- Instant gratification
- Instant message
- Instant rice
- Instant bank deposit
- Instant response
- and on and on…..
We live in a world where we can instantly post to hundreds or thousands of people on social media. We can instantly take a picture and post it for the world to see! We can open an app and instantly see our bank account and instantly transfer funds. Instant!!!
So, is it any surprise the enemy would use instant gratification as a form of temptation? We hear “wait on God” and Satan yells…”NO!! Have it NOW!!”
But Jesus’ response is speaking to us today. When Satan yells NOW, Jesus says,
“…worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
We should not serve our jobs, our bank accounts, our position, our popularity or even our ministry….those things lead us to want more and more even faster. More subscribers, more page views, more comparison. More money, more perks, more followers, more friends. It goes on and on.
When we let go of those things, submit them to God and serve ONLY Him, then we will defeat the enemy and then we will know that what we have is from the Lord and blessed by Him and not us building our own Tower of Babel, striving to bring ourselves up higher and loftier.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (KJV)
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Permissive power is all he has. God is the One Who gives to all, and He gives it in a way that endures and that blesses. Wait on God! Submit to Him, resist the devil and he WILL flee!Resist the devil and he will flee from you #spiritualwarfare Click To Tweet