Thursday, September 19, 2013

Temptation - Facing the Dark Side - Part 4

Thursday – September 19, 2013

If you recall, Satan’s fall from Heaven was due to pride.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning!  You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.  For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.  I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.  I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’     Isaiah 14:12 - 14 (NLT)

I will”.  Here’s an important key in sifting through choices which present themselves; “I will” is always a red flag!  A constant question I have about any choice is:  

Is this God’s will, or does it pander to my will?

Satan will often present comfort and ease as a right reason.  That job pays so much more.  She is prettier.  I like the way this version of the Bible sounds.  It’s much easier to give less than a tithe.  Ease and comfort are not necessarily Godly.

Don’t misunderstand my intention here – God cares if you have it tough; He cares much more that you’re in the center of His will, which is more than comfortable – it is best…even if it’s difficult and involves suffering.

Then, also notice Satan always wants you to think about what others think.  He tried to entrap Jesus with that.  Hey, Jesus, you know these folks here in Jerusalem are just ripe for the Messiah – but, listen, you’ve got to get their attention.  Do something.  Build a national following.  Forget that repentance stuff, and all that boring worship and memorizing the Bible.  Jazz it up, Jesus!  Hire a band.  Get some puppets – put your name up in lights, boy.  Jump off the temple – do a miracle there.  Then they will know you are the real thing.  If you’ll just follow MY advice, I’ll see it all happens!

Pride’s Problem

I used to take quite a bit of pleasure (and pride) knowing I drove a very inexpensive, American-made Ford.  The little grey beast had (with the exception of Henry’s Model T) the lowest sticker price of anything Ford ever made.  I got 40 miles to the gallon!  The air conditioner still worked after 11 years!  Cheap, durable and American-made! 

But once when I was cleaning the car (its annual bath, needed or not) – as I bent over the door opening I noticed that little sticker with the manufacturer’s information.  It said, Made for Ford Motor Co. by Kia Motors.  My American pride-mobile was made in Korea! 

And, if that wasn’t enough, two weeks later another sticker fell out from under the radio in the dashboard – the little pink slip said “Made In Brazil”!  So much for Russell’s car-pride!  (I now drive a good German VW made mostly in America).

Pride is where Satan lives.  His fall from heaven was because of pride, and he will use that to tempt you into falling as he did.

Here are his “big three” weapons, and how they appeal to you:

Lust of the flesh 

appeals to material things and experiences you want.  Note that Eve was content until the serpent showed her what she could have if she only exercised her will.  He showed her how to be “upwardly mobile” by disregarding God’s instructions to abstain from that tree.  It’s an appeal to greed.

Lust of the eyes

appeals to our aesthetic, creative nature.  Eve saw the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was pleasing to her eyes. 

Pride of life – 

the fruit held a promise – to make one wise like God.  This is an appeal to self-will.  Satan’s chief sin in his fall from heaven was in wanting to take God’s place.  (There’s plenty of example of that in our day…take your pick!)


Don’t fall for Satan’s prideful answers to life’s questions…
Trust and obey, for there’s no better way,
to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

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