Please remember this. The world is always trying to pull us away from God. We see this when Jesus was tempted by the devil. How would you feel after 40 days of not eating? What would be one thing you would love to do? Eating something seems like the right answer. Interestingly enough, this is where the devil starts.
Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. 2 There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. 3 The devil said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread.” (Luke 4, CEB)
The world tries to pull us away from God by putting pleasure in front of us. This can be food. This can be focusing on doing whatever makes us happy. If it feels good, the world around us asks, “Why can that be bad?”
Power and money is another temptation the world offers.
5 Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. 7 Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” (Luke 4, CEB)
This can overlap with the first temptation. Often we hear the world telling us we need more money in order to be happy. We can find it easier to see ourselves as having worth and value if we have positions of authority in this life. The pursuit of power and riches has corrupted so many.
9 The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it’s written: He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you 11 and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.”
12 Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God.” 13 After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity. (Luke 4, CEB)
We may not see ourselves as testing God often, and yet, I see this come up in so many Christian lives. You hear this, “What did I do to deserve this?” We think God is punishing us when we go through difficult times, especially when it comes to our health. We find it easier to see God as a good God when we feel fully healthy, and yet, God is always good.
These are common ways the world tries to pull us away from God today. Do you find yourself seeking pleasure and good feelings? Does peace in your life depend on money and good health?
Consider how Jesus responded in each of the temptations. Jesus responded by taking the lies of the devil and replacing them with God’s truths. This is a powerful way to keep God first in our lives, choose to make His truths supreme over any thought, want or feeling.