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Temptation

 

It is written,

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

Matthew 4:8,9

Offering someone all the kingdoms of the world seems generous, but the Devil never gives more than he seeks to get. Through accepting something relatively worthless; our adversary often cheats us out of what is truly valuable. Offering Christ the kingdoms of the world only demonstrates that what the Devil hoped to gain is even more precious. The question that we must ask ourselves is, “What could possibly be more valuable than all the kingdoms of the world?”

 

Sin is disobedience to our Father’s will

 

What the devil sought to gain from Christ was the same thing he received from Adam and Eve: disobedience. If Satan convinced Christ to take the path that seemed good to his natural mind, disobedience would cause him to sin. Satan knows the wages of sin is death.  After all, if Christ sought to fulfill God’s plan in a way that our Father did not approve of, would He still have risen the third day?

Jesus, born to become the sacrifice for the sins the world, learned obedience through the way of the cross. To the natural man, the way of the cross seems futile and unsure. To a natural man what the devil offers seems a reasonable alternative for what God wants. After all, if you are the head of all the kingdoms of the world you can simply usher in the kingdom of heaven through decree.

 

Go Away Satan!

 

Fortunately, Jesus was not naturally minded and said,

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Matthew 4:10

These scriptures demonstrate that worshiping God carries with it the idea of service. Therefore,  the one you serve is the one you worship.

Some try to make up for their rebellion by doing what “they” think is good. It is like saying to God, “I won’t do what you want, but I will do what I feel is just as good”  God rejected Cain’s sacrifice for that same type of reasoning.  God desired a blood sacrifice to point to the future the lamb of God. When Cain did what seemed right in his own eyes God would not respect his offering.  Offering what seems good to us is still the main reason that our sacrifices are not regarded by our Father today.

 

Never bargain with the Devil

 

Here is a truth,
 

“The Devil never gives more than he seeks to get”

 

Lured by easy success, some deceive themselves into believing they’re doing God’s will while ignoring His greater calling. Through allowing us to succeed in unimportant areas, the father of lies distracts us from God’s perfect will. Our Adversary often steps back from the small battles, knowing he will still wins the war. Through giving up a little ground in the present, Satan prevents a much greater loss in the future. Likewise, though offering Christ the kingdoms of the world seemed generous, it couldn’t compare to what God had in store for His son.  In the same way, even if we prosper in our disobedience, it pales in comparison to what God plans for us to accomplish.

 

God does not take back what He gives

 

It is written,

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

Romans 11:29

At Gilgal, Saul disobeyed God’s commandment.  Therefore, God gave Saul’s kingdom to another even though nothing outwardly changed that day.  Disobeying God does not mean that the gifts and callings we receive suddenly vanish. Delayed judgement, leads some to believe that, because their ministry still functions, everything is OK. What they do not realize is that God still honors the office even when they are rejected personally.

There is no true worship without true obedience.  Faithful servants must fully embraces their Father’s will.

Here is a true saying,

 

“Doing good in our disobedience does not cause God to accept our rebellion.”

 

As it is written,

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

1 Samuel 15:22

And moreover,

“Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.”

1 Samuel 15:10,11

 

To obey is better than sacrifice

 

The prophet Samuel told Saul to destroy king Agag and everything the king owned.  Instead, Saul took the king captive and saved the best of his animals.  Making excuses why he chose to disobey the God’s command, Saul protested.  Surely, Saul reasoned, sacrifices are as good as or even better than destroying everything as God instructed. The short answer to that line of thought is, “no, it isn’t.” God, as a judgement, took the kingdom from Saul because of his disobedience. God demonstrated his displeasure by having His prophet violently hack king Agag to pieces as Saul should have done. This lesson is: never substitute what we believe is good for simple obedience to the voice of God.

Pursuing our own path, doing what seems reasonable to us, we miss God’s path.  Consequently, every minute we are going our own way we not going His way.

 

Suspiciously easy? Then beware

 

Be suspicious if you suddenly feel no resistance from the enemy in areas where you usually find opposition.  Sometimes. the door which looks easy according to “the knowledge of good,” leads away from God’s will. However good the kingdoms of this world looked the cross was still the only way for Christ to accomplish the plan of God.

What signs of leaving God’s path are there? After all, being deceived means that we are caught in a lie. The truth is, God tells us when we stray. God expresses His displeasure through scripture, conviction, people, and circumstance. Therefore, if God goads and prick your heart, even in your deception, He is calling you back to Him. The Holy Spirit speaks to us no matter how much we ignore Him. God never ceases in His efforts to woo us back to the path that leads to eternal life. It is this still small voice that anchors us in times of confusion. Listen to God’s voice, trust Him more than what others tell you. Trust the Holy Spirit more than even your own mind.

 

Straight is the path and narrow is the gate

 

God sets before each one of us only one path to follow.  Our individual paths are marked out from the foundations of this world.  This means you have a destiny if you will obey God and fulfill it.  Our self-willed detours waste time, delay God’s plan, causing us and others to suffer earthly and eternal loss. On one hand, the gifts of the Devil pale in comparison to the cost of our disobedience. On the other hand, sacrifices made in doing God’s will are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

All the kingdoms of this world are not worth it

 

In conclusion, Christ could have gained the whole world and lost everything that God wanted to give Him.  Jesus could have traded a heavenly kingdom for the kingdoms of this world and ultimately ended up with nothing.  Thank God and him that he choose the cross.

Doing evil that good may come of it is compromise.  Building our own kingdom is to deny God’s kingdom.  It is doing the will of our Father that grants us entry into His eternal kingdom. Anything else Satan offers, no matter how good it seems on Earth, is worthless.

How can I apply this teaching to my life?

 

Ask yourself, “Am I doing what God wants me to do? Or, am I doing something that I think is just as good?” David Wilkerson had great success in the eyes of man with Teen Challenge. However, David felt that he had left his true calling. David felt called back to the streets. Have you left your first calling? Are you doing something else than what God called you to do? You assignment: Listen to this sermon by David Wilkerson and answer that question.
 

 
Read “Special Ops For God.”
 
Suggested book: “Gods Smuggler” by brother Andrew

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