And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Has there ever been a more empty promise than the one the devil makes? He can promise us the world. He can even deliver on that promise. But to bow before Satan costs us a lot more than we would gain. What Satan craves is power that does not belong to him, glory that he is not warranted, and a position he is not entitled to. Pride was his downfall, and he seeks to trip us up by appealing to our pride. We want admiration, too. We want a position of power. We want the whole world for ourselves. But that leaves God out of our lives, and are we willing to risk that?
Satan has this power, but it is not ultimate power. God is the ultimate authority and has the ultimate power. Satan will always be lesser and unworthy of our worship, for only God is worthy. So anything Satan has to give us will always be less than what God can give us. Our hearts can get so consumed by worldly and temporary things. But a life of serving God has meaning and purpose. Submitting to the King of kings instead of desiring our own kingdom fills our lives with riches greater than silver or gold.
Anything that we put ahead of God is “Satan,” some lesser thing to worship and adore. So we must keep things in their rightful place, with nothing above God and nothing that hinders our complete obedience to Him. There are many would-be masters in our lives, but there is only one worthy of surrendering our lives to completely in humble service. It must be a singular and dedicated focus where we are not willing to forsake God in exchange for anything else, but we are willing to forsake all others for Him.
This is a lie that the devil still tells today, and so many have fallen for it. People are convinced that the only way to get ahead or get what they want means doing whatever it takes. But may we not be willing to take the easy way out and follow the devil’s shortcuts. Instead, let’s stick to the straight path the Lord has laid out for us. Let us stick to the solid foundation of God’s way, the right way, the God-honoring way. May our hearts be dedicated fully to God. May we bow before God alone and refuse to be deceived by Satan’s cheap imitation.