Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Those Who Reject God Bow Down Before Satan

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 4:1 - 30
  • Psalm 63:1 - 11
Read Bible Passages Online

Luke 4:1 - 30
Chapter four begins with the temptation of Christ in the wilderness for 40 days.  Jesus had just been baptized (3:21) and was filled by the Holy Spirit, which led him into the wilderness (4:1). 

Satan tempted Jesus for 40 days in the wilderness.  We are told that the devil took Jesus up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, offering all of them to Jesus if only Jesus would worship him (4:5-7).  Jesus refused the offer.

Two things strike me about that passage.  The first is that it says the devil "took him up" (4:5) to show Jesus the kingdoms of the world.  So in my mind I'm picturing an experience like one would see in the movies -- being lifted above the clouds by a powerful force, being shown the entire world.  It must have been a very powerful experience.

The other thing that strikes me is that the world is Satan's to give to Jesus -- or to whomever he wishes to give it to.  Quite simply, Satan has complete power over this world.  This world -- this place of sin and suffering and pain -- we don't belong here.  We Christians are not home here. 

Right now, this world is Satan's domain.  That will soon be changed, but for now that's the situation we live in.  When one chooses the world instead of the Lord, they are truly choosing Satan over God.  They are not choosing to simply not believe in God -- they are choosing the world.  They are choosing Satan. 

How often do you hear someone say that they don't believe in anything?  They don't believe in God, don't believe in Satan, don't believe in a higher power at all.  Most people who don't believe in God don't consider themselves Satan worshipers.  But in the end, those who reject the Lord are instead embracing Satan and letting him rule them.

That's exactly the kind of worship Satan wants, right?  He wants to turn as many people from the Lord to him as he possibly can.  And if the person is clueless that they're literally following Satan, that's even better because Satan loves to deceive.  Don't choose Satan.  Don't choose the world.  Don't choose yourself, for that is choosing the world.  Choosing the world choosing Satan.

Jesus has complete power over Satan and through Him so do we.  I am so thankful that in this dark world we live in, we have a light that shines constantly and guides our every step.  This light protects us, it heals us, it carries us when we need it.  This light shines even when we turn away from it and into the darkness that is the world.  This light has authority over Satan.  This light is breathtaking.  This light is Jesus Christ.  Thank you, Lord, for leading me out of the darkness.

Psalm 63:1 - 11 
This Psalm is filled with rich praise and longing for the Lord:
1  Oh God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.  My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you.
5  You satisfy me more than the richest feast.  I will praise you with songs of joy.
These verses above utterly convey the satisfaction that comes from knowing the Lord.  They convey the feeling that stirs your soul when you discover that -- not only do you feel the Lord inside you -- you want to know the Lord so much more!  Your soul longs and thirsts for this closeness.  Nothing else can can satisfy these cravings -- not even the richest feast.  This is such a glorious psalm.

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