Jesus gave Satan a response and provided the only life-giving answer to all of our choices, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only (Luke 4:8).”
Some people do not realize who they really are. They do not understand why they were created. They do not know their life’s purpose, and therefore, wonder about busy, tired, frustrated, distracted, and burnt out. They strive and work for the next big thing that never comes and so they are faced with more anxiety and pressure to fulfill their self-centered desires. It’s a vicious cycle.
Other people are groomed to win; they win regularly. Promotions come, along with accomplishment and rewards. They are looked up to, considered experts in their prospective fields. They may earn a significant wage and be in good health, have families that they enjoy, and may even enjoy a little leisure. Their lives include vacations, dinners out with friends, and mornings on the golf course or basketball court. All is well in their world.
Most of us can place ourselves is one of these two categories or somewhere in between these two extremes. Either way, the foundation of the problem is still the same, “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one (Psalm 13:3 NIV).” Regardless of how we view ourselves, the Bible says that we have a problem.
The problem is that all of us have become corrupt and that none of us are good. This realization, however unsettling, helps me also realize that I have a great need. I need rescuing from my self and my horrible condition. The truth of this matter must be acknowledged, if I am ever to move forward. This truth is fundamental to understanding our human nature.
The other truth to acknowledge is that humans were created with a need for counsel, worship, and purpose.
The choice of counsel: Between God and the Devil
God — Gen 2:16 “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to ear from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”
Devil — Gen 3:1B “He [the devil disguised as a serpent] said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”
The choice of worship: Between the one true God, and other gods or self
God — “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).”
Other gods — “Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them (Deuteronomy 11:16). “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14).”
Self — “I will make myself like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14).” That’s the Bible’s way of saying, “Live it up! Do life your way!”
Our choices of counsel and worship determine whether or not we are truly living our life’s purpose. In the beginning, God revealed his purpose for humans by creating us to reflect his image on earth. He gave us his blessing and called the human creation part of his very good creation. God gave us responsibility over his earthly creation.
Sin entered that world and distorted our view of wise counsel and the focus of our worship, therefore we do not always choose wisely, but Jesus corrects our problem and meets our need. He offers us salvation where we can once again live our lives uncontaminated with purpose, through God’s wise counsel and in worship of him.
Jesus gives us victory, not only in the life to come, but also in this life! Jesus says, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).”
Lost people are in dire need of a savior that gives life. May we know and share this truth.
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