Temptation to Downgrade
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Have you ever noticed how movies portray car salesmen? You know the type: the guy with the big fake smile, who always seems to have a special deal “just for you.” When we see these movie characters, we instantly understand that the salesman is a liar and any “deal” that he might offer will benefit himself far more than the unsuspecting customer.
While it is easy to laugh at these caricatures, Satan uses very similar techniques.
To someone starving in the wilderness, the deal Satan offered in Luke 4:5-8 must have sounded great. Change sides, and Jesus’ hunger would cease, His struggles would be over, and He would be bathed in splendor and glory. Where is the down side? It sounds like a win-win.
That’s what makes Satan such a good salesman. His solutions make sense. They seem to address our concerns in reasonable ways. Tell a little lie on that job application, and the stress and embarrassment of unemployment will be over. Have sex with your boyfriend, and you will finally know what it is to be loved. Divorce your spouse, and you will find peace. No matter the temptation, Satan always manages to hide the truth about the deal he is offering.
With Jesus, Satan left out the truth that Jesus is God. Satan wasn’t offering him anything but a downgraded version of something he already had; all the kingdoms of the world were already His! Because Jesus knew the truth, He was able to see through the deception and not fall for the attraction of lesser things.
The same goes for us. When unemployed for a long time, a lie might not seem that bad yet the truth is, job or no job, “God shall supply all of your needs …” (Philippians 4:19).
A sexual compromise might seem like a small price to pay to find love, yet long before God laid the foundations of the world, we were the focus of His love (Ephesians 1:4).
Divorce might seem like the only way to find peace, yet the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, is already available (Philippians 4:7).
Satan is always trying to convince us to follow his ways instead of God’s. No matter how sweet his deal might look, don’t fall for it. In the end it’s just a downgrade.