“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10a NLT)
Comfort and a false sense of security are two of Satan’s most effective weapons. He played his hand when he was tempting Jesus. “Then the devil took Him (Jesus) up and revealed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. ‘I will give you the glory of theses kingdoms and authority over them,’ the devil said, ‘because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.’” (Luke 4:5-7 NLT)
That’s what Satan does to us on a much smaller scale. He gives us a glimpse of what our lives on earth could be if we just bowed to his demands. “If only” becomes the insidious cry of our heart. “If only I made more money!” “If only we had a bigger house!” “If only we could take more trips!” “If only I could get this promotion!” And on and on it goes.
The “glory” of this world shines and sparkles and invites us to sell our soul to the highest bidder. We never stop to ask: “What if I had all of that, then what?” Someone asked a very wealthy man how much was enough, to which he responded: “Just a little bit more.”
Our tendency is to build life on what we hope will happen. We buy based on the raise we hope to get or the new job that we just know is going to open up. We spend money on things we don’t need to impress people who don’t care, then wonder why we’re so miserable when we have all this nice stuff.
Arthur Pink wrote: “The gospel of Satan aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed.” Who needs God when you’ve got the world by the tail on a downhill grade? The money’s flowing, the house and cars are new and the trips across the world are icing on the proverbial cake.
No thought of the next life because all our attention is focused on this one. That’s Satan’s goal. Whatever it costs to make us comfortable or give us more security is a small price to pay. Then death knocks at our door! That’s what my mentor was addressing when he said: “What is all you sold your soul to obtain worth on the day you stand before Jesus?” And the answer of course? “Nothing!” At least to the one who has died.
How can anyone be so blind? Yet, we learn at a very young age that we “deserve” to have anything we want. Our parents teach us that. Many today feel obligated to buy their children the most current fashions, send them to the “best” schools, give them all the latest gadgets and when they can’t, they feel like a failure. How do I know that? Because that’s how I felt about my kids.
That’s how we got buried in debt that took more than 10 years to pay back after my divorce. Was it worth it? Absolutely not! But it still took years to learn to be content with what I had and live below my means. Finally, by God’s grace, I’m seeing the proverbial light.
Satan’s goal is to steal our attention, redirect our energy, kill our thoughts of God, and destroy any hope of anything better than what this world offers. Gratefully, Jesus knew what we must learn. All the glory of this world can never give us what knowing Jesus can. We must realize that our energy and effort need to be invested in heaven, in preparation for our homecoming one day when this life ends. But how?
By following Jesus’ example – by serving the needs of others before our own. By sacrificing our needs in favor of helping others. In short, by seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and by prioritizing our efforts to honor and glorify Jesus instead of ourselves.
Blessings, Ed 😊