Matthew 4:8-9 NIV
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."
Satan was trying to appeal to the 100% man, Jesus, ignoring the fact that He was also 100% God. He was offering Jesus what the Lord already owned! Even after having been booted out of heaven forever for wanting to be God, Satan was still trying to accomplish the same thing. If it had actually been possible for him to give Jesus what he offered, and if it was possible for that to even be a tiny bit tempting to Jesus, the Lord's eternal purpose for being here would have been destroyed, and He would not have been the Savior. If Jesus had taken the temporal political power that Satan offered, He would have ended any hope for mankind's eternal salvation.
Because we live in this world, it's a lot easier to see worldly things - money, power, possessions, you name it. We can see them, feel them, touch them, smell them, taste them - and want them. But think about this. by accepting what the world has to offer. by letting those things take precedence over what God has to offer. are we not accepting the temptation to bow down and worship Satan, just as he was tempting Jesus to do? By allowing our perspective to be shifted to the world, are we not falling right into Satan's snare?
So does this mean that we should never want anything that is of this world? No, not if we can keep the things of the world in perspective. But, if that "anything" is more important to us than God, then we need to stay completely away from it.
If we can keep the world in perspective. if we can see those things we have - money, power, relationships, possessions, health - as blessings from God that we are allowed to use for a time. then they are no problem to us. If God is our only focus, and our only desire is to please Him, worship Him, and glorify Him, then the things of this world are His gifts to us. It is only when those things come between Him and us that they become the tools Satan wants them to be.
When you are tempted by earthly desires, lean on God's Word to keep your perspective. Quote Jesus' words, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." Use the sword He's given you to do battle with the devil.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
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