by SPENCER ATKINSON
A few years back, I used to have terrible stomach pains when I ate certain foods, yet I would still try to eat them and hope that all would be well. One particular day, I had just finished fishing with two of my friends and we decided to go get burgers from Five Guys late that night. I decided it sounded good and thought, “it will taste great and the stomach pain won’t be that bad.” I did not sleep that night because of really bad stomach pain. I can assure you it was not “totally worth it.”
How often do we seek to serve someone or something other than God to find what we desire? Politics, money, self, etc. The Bible is clear that we can only serve one master. It is easy to try to serve multiple masters when so many things are pulling for our attention. In the climate of our culture which seeks to divide and demands loyalty to a politic, ideal, or even to ourselves; how easy it would be to choose to be a follower of that politic, ideal, or our own desires and commit to them over and above Christ. It may feel like by doing so that we gain a sense of identity, gain happiness, make a name for ourselves, or feel righteous in our own eyes; when in reality it comes at a much greater cost than we could imagine and the reward is worthless. Jesus shows us how to overcome such temptations when he rebukes and resists the devil saying “you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.” First we worship God. When we worship we are giving praise and glory to God in all that we do. When we do this it keeps our hearts and minds attuned to him. Second, we serve only God. Out of worship our desire to serve God will be greater. Moreover, when we seek Jesus and we hide the Word of God in our hearts, we can resist whatever temptations we face by remembering the truth about who Jesus is and who we are in him. Three times in this passage Jesus shows this to us.
Pause and take a moment to pause, pray, and reflect.
What is fighting most for your attention and devotion apart from Christ?
How might you commit to worshiping and serving Christ more fully?