This morning we are going to look at two ways that the Tempter (Satan) always uses to trip up Jesus’ followers:
Years ago Debbi Boone had a hit song, You Light Up My Life. It was one of those crossover songs, hitting the popular, country, and gospel charts. One phrase in the song always struck me as having the wrong message to ever be considered part of a Christian worldview:
It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.
Satan has had a lot of practice fooling even the most mature believers. Friends, I tell you the truth, don’t trust what your heart tells you. Don’t trust what country music, or your buds from the hood say. Satan will use anything and anybody to confuse and corrupt your foundation. He will always suggest a wrong road that seems right.
In the desert wilderness Jesus relied upon God’s Word to find his way. So should you.
Part of the Tempter’s strategy will always present a slightly different (and entirely wrong) way of doing God’s will. Satan reminded Jesus He came to have a kingdom, feed the hungry, and establish worship. And he could have those things quicker if he just followed Satan’s advice.
Friends, no matter how high sounding the end, the way you do things had better square with God’s Word – otherwise you are on thin ice.
A church I served was without a music director. Of all things, I (who cannot even carry someone else’s tune) was leading the singing. A group of a dozen visitors showed up one Sunday morning.
After the service, Carl, a very distinguished looking member of that group invited me to visit him the next evening. I showed up, and was treated to two hours of Carl showcasing his musical talents – complete with solo and framed music course certificates. The evening ended with Carl’s statement: Preacher, me and those other families want to join your church…if you’ll make me the songleader. I told him I thought he and those other folks would probably be happier in another church.
Now, I didn’t know the man from Adam’s housecat. But, I knew enough that anytime there is an “offer with an if” you’re in the middle of a business transaction. I needed a music director, but this was Mt. Temptation. I later found out the man had split two other churches with his marvelous music. His wrong reasons had plenty of sound right (and certificates to prove it) – but they were still wrong reasons. He cared nothing for the church he was so generously “offering” to serve – it was his agenda and pride that mattered to the songman.
Jesus prepared himself spiritually, with fasting and prayer in the wilderness. When the attack came he was ready with God’s Word to not only survive the temptation, but to overcome and become stronger for the days ahead.
Remember that the battle is only that – one battle in a lifetime war! Prepare yourself today and every day with God’s Word, the Sword of the Spirit. You don’t wait until it starts to rain before you think about repairing that roof; your spiritual roof needs shingles from the Word of God. Get on it!