Looking Down from the Mountain
Matthew 4:8-11 says,
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
The times we live in are changing fast and the terrain we are traversing is remarkably rockier than that of our recent elders. America is not as friendly to the church as it once was. It seems like there are less Christians. Our pews appear punier, our lawmakers more lawless (by biblical standards anyway).
Many Christians are left asking, “what happened?” What we are currently seeing in America is Christians losing power. It seems that all of the cultural and political sway we once had is quickly waning. Lacking power, Christians have taken up the mantle of fighting to regain the heart of this world. We turn to the government for a strong leader and supreme court justices to give us favor and laws that let us practice our religion.
But, is this the right approach?
If a Christian’s primary goal is to obtain power, we’ve missed the mark and taken the name of God and made it a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Many Christians have forgotten their calling in the pursuit of power. They stand at the peak of a high mountain and look down at the kingdoms of the world.
The choice is simple: choose God or choose power. You cannot pursue both. The world is not as it seems. Those who seek to be first will be last but the servant will be the greatest among you. Those who pursue power will lose it, but in divine service, we will find our true power.
Let us look again at the aforementioned text in Matthew. Jesus is faced with a choice: pursue power or be faithful to His calling. To the eyes of a worldly person, the choice is obvious. “Choose power! Think of all the good you could do with that authority! If you want to see results power is the only way.” Yet, Jesus goes an alternate route. He strays from the beaten path to the road less traveled. Jesus chooses faithfulness! With all authority, Jesus casts Satan from His sight and opts for faithfulness.
If we fast forward along the timeline of Jesus’ life, we see that all authority in Heaven and on earth is given to Him. He suffers, cries, is beaten, spit on, whipped, and He is crucified for remaining faithful. He endured and emerged victorious, as ruler of all.
If we are to walk the same overgrown path that Jesus walked, we have to deny the pursuit of power and opt for faithfulness at every turn. For those who seek power will lose it but the servant will discover where the true power lies.
Feature photo by John Towner