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I Deserve It

24 Jul

TowerI’m posting about the spiritual battle that we have to contend with as believers. I’m using Christ as our example. In my last post I talked about the devil attacking who we are in Christ. The next attack is more subtle.

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'”
Matthew 4:5-6

Remember that I said it’s not about mindlessly quoting the Bible. That doesn’t bring about the victory. In this verse we see the reason for that. The devil has the Bible memorized. He can quote it better than we can sometimes.

What is this attack? By using the Bible, Satan is trying to attack the church. He wants to go through you to bring down other believers.

If you’re a warrior, then the enemy needs to go through you to attack the church. That’s what the verse meant that said that the battle entails persistency and petition around all the saints. (Ephesians 6:17-18)

Other Christians aren’t really watching the battle. Many times they’re off in “praise land,” never realizing that they’re being protected. There are those whose ministry is interceding for them – protecting them.

Why would the devil have told Christ to jump from the temple? The angels would have protected Him and it would have fulfilled a prophecy from Malachi.

“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
Malachi 3:1

Had He jumped off the roof, Christ would have appeared suddenly in the Temple. The people would have flocked to Him. But what would they be following? In a word – sensationalism.

God doesn’t want us following the spectacular.

“He’s on TV, he must be spiritual.”

This attack asks; am I going to build God’s kingdom? Am I going to protect God’s people? Or am I going to live for self? This attack happens after a victory in another area. I’ve overcome temptation to sin, now I want the fame, recognition, and money that I deserve.

This attack is all about whether I want to advance myself or God’s kingdom. Many choose to exalt self. The body of Christ is not a place for self-advancement. It’s got to be the Lord who exalts us. Christ’s answer to this attack was simple.

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
Matthew 4:7

This is making God the focus of our examination. The fact is, God doesn’t have to prove He’s going to bless me before I serve Him. I obey Him because He’s God. He’s done so much for me already; the Lord has nothing He needs to prove to me.

It’s when we need something more than what Christ has already provided that we fall victim to this trap. Instead of testing God, our goal should be simply to hear and obey Him.

Question: What are some of the things we chase after that are unneeded in our Christian walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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