The first seven days of this Lenten season have already slipped by and I hope that your observances and commitments will bring you into a closer relationship with God the Father and the Lord Christ Jesus. As we continue to see signs foretold in scripture, we should continue to pray and not be fearful if our trust is in the Lord where it should be. The chaos of this world will continue to swirl around us, but when our lives seem to be spinning out of control we need to focus on He who should be the center of our lives and how we might serve Him in our ordinary lives.
Luke 4:5-7 says: “And the Devil took him (Jesus) to the top of a high mountain and showed him all of the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” “And the Devil said to him All this power I will give to you and the glory of them, for it has been delivered to me and I give it to whomever I will.” “Therefore if you worship me all will be yours.”
Instant gratification is the way of this world and it appeals to our wants…What do we want? Just fill in the blank. When do we want it? Now. Satan is always ready to promise fulfillment of our wants right now if we will embrace the ways of the world. Scripture also states in Luke 16 and Matthew 6: “You cannot serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold the one and despise the other, you cannot serve God and mammon.” Some politicians do this marionette dance all of the time, professing to be Christian and yet voting in favor of laws that directly challenge God’s commandments and creation. Some business people have decided to open for business 7 days a week from morning to night in the hope they will be able to make that next sale, yet pay a pittance to those whom they force to work those hours. The bumper sticker reads: He who dies with the most toys wins. Really? Show me a mortal man who has died and gone out of this world with his possessions. Jesus also cautioned: “What profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul?” It is too easy to get caught up in the race to acquire more and more things, prestige and so on as I did for a time. It is also too easy to lose everything and experience the emptiness of Satan’s promises.
Jesus’ response is found in Luke 4:8: “Get behind me Satan!” “For it is written you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Our pursuit of happiness should be done in prayerful asking for the Lord to give us this day all that we need and in serving the God who gives and takes away according to his will. Life need not be futile when we desire to seek the Lord.