26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse--27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today;28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn f rom the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NIV)
Recently, the Prayer of Jabez has become quite popular. It is a wonderful prayer that asks for the Lord to change the circumstances in which we find ourselves into blessing. We do need to remember that blessing is contingent upon obedience. As New Testament saints, we emphasize grace, but that does not change the principle of these verses. We still reap what we sow. We cannot ask for blessing while walking in disobedience and expect God to wink at our disobedience.
The choice to obey is clearly laid before us. Instead of the many rules of the Old Testament Law, we have the leading of the Holy Spirit that indwells us. We choose to obey or disobey. We choose curse or blessing. It is sad that we think we can pray for God to remove this just principle. It is there to deter us from evil and guide us into life.
What are these other gods? They are ones that promise prosperity in spite of disobedience. They are lies that say that the pleasure of sin is more than momentary. They offer an alternative to the cut and dried choice of obedience and blessing or disobedience and curse. They lie! They are disobedience and curse in disguise.
Meditation: Obedience brings the blessing of God!
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes f rom the mouth of God.'
7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'
10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' (Matt 4:4, 7, 10 NIV)
Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, yet without sin. After fasting for 40 days, Satan came to tempt Him. Remember that the Father had just spoken with an audible voice from heaven saying, This is my Son. Now Satan asks, If you are the Son of God, command these stones to be turned into bread. People lose their appetite while fasting until the body begins to consume itself. Clever, the way Satan ties the doubt of who He is to His physical need. You, reader, are not the Son, but you are a son. Satan often tempts us along this same line. If God loves you so much then why Jesus acted as our perfect example. He could have revealed His glory. He could have called for legions of angels, but instead, He quoted the eternal word of God. Life is more than just the physical.
The second temptation included the same if. This time Satan quotes Scripture. Take matters into your own hands Jesus. Quit waiting on the Father. Just do what it says here, throw yourself off this pinnacle. Then You, and everyone in sight, will see the angels bear You up. Theyll know You are the Messiah. Jesus answers with another Scripture, Dont put God to the test. See April 6th morning devotion.
In the last revealing temptation, Satan declares that the world systems and their glory are His to give to whoever will worship him. He has always been seeking worship. He is willing to make a swap, the entire world systems for Jesus worship. Could He skip the cross and go straight to His kingdom? Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.
Consider: Is the Word of God your offensive weapon?
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