Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
In a way, Jesus’ ministry begins with the temptations of Satan. And Jesus establishes from the very beginning that what He is doing is based on what is written, what God’s Word says. That is the foundation He starts with and what His work and ministry is built upon. And this central truth is at the heart of it—that God is God alone. He is the one we are serving. He is the one we worship and honor. He is the one we have to consciously place above all others. He is the one we choose to submit to and who we choose to obey.
Jesus was serving God. He was an obedient Son to His Father. He was a humble servant, and that is what we are to emulate. No matter who we are and what our calling is, this must be the heart of it—to worship God alone and to serve Him only, to ensure that all we do is aligned with His ways, and to be sure we are living by what is written in His Word. There are no shortcuts to that.
And it starts in a lot of ways by making God supreme in our lives. If there is no one above Him, no one can influence us more than Him. If we’re committed to Him, no one can tempt us to turn away. If our hearts are fixed on trusting Him no matter what, we’ll take whatever comes our way and just keep moving forward. If no other voice is more prominent than His, then we’ll truly dedicate our lives to following His Word. And it’s not just about forsaking Satan and turning our backs on him and rebuking him away from us, but it must also be, more importantly, about turning to God with our whole hearts.
It can be easy for the idea get stuck in our minds that we’re losing out on something by choosing to follow God. It can seem like we may miss out on some things if we submit totally to God and seek to follow His ways. The devil may promise us the world in exchange for our allegiance to him, but there has never been a more empty promise. The father of lies could never make good on his claim, and anything he could give us will ultimately perish. But when we choose God, He really does give us the world—so much more than what this world has to offer, something better, something higher. Only in God is fullness of life, and when we gain Christ, we gain all we could ever need.