If we receive from the devil what God has denied us, we have to know for sure that we have been deceived. The quick reliefs that the devil offers are brief, but they prepare one for an eternal grief. If God hasn’t given it to us, then it is not ours. The ‘right’ time for Satan to come and tempt is when we are vulnerable and greatly in need. That is what he did when he went to tempt Christ. The Lord was genuinely hungry after fasting for forty days and nights (Matt. 4:2). Remember that the ‘right’ time for Satan to tempt your vulnerability is equally the right time for God to test your integrity. What you choose to do will determine who the winner will be. Who are you going to let win?
He could have reasoned that he was through with fasting so there was no problem for Him to break the fast. But the Lord Jesus demonstrated that it was wrong for Him to do it at the prompting of Satan. The latter had nothing to do with Christ’s plans. It was good that the Lord refused to yield. It was not for Satan to counsel Him about His need for food.
We had noted in chapter 4 that a hyena who faithfully runs errands delivering meat is to be praised more than the one who faithfully delivers vegetables. What this means is that there are things that are more tempting to some people than they are to others. We will be tested by things that we have a weakness for. Our integrity and resolve to be stewards after the book is only tested and qualified if we refuse to take advantage of an opportunity and or pressure to compromise.
Are You Rich?
Being wealthy is relative. Because of this, many people are generally rich but they don’t acknowledge it. Despite this, there is a point at which we should accept that we are rich. Wealth has a terrible lure. The lure usually comes with a paradoxical twist. When celebrity status comes, it doesn’t come alone. It is always accompanied by money. When money begins to stream in, a minister who used to spend his meagre resources to go for missions, would ‘charge’ substantial amount of money, including luxurious accommodation, if they are invited to go minister somewhere.
We should not use the Bible to get what we want; rather, we should let the Bible get from us what God wants. We will then realize that what we want is not as good as what God wants for us.
With wealth comes many temptations. If we are not careful and keen to listen to the Holy Spirit, our attitude and priorities would change, for example, we would aim at making money out of Christ instead of spending it on Him. Those who are rich need to be extremely careful. A believer should be rich because material blessings have overtaken him. In other words, he is not chasing material wealth but chasing the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then God Himself adds “all these other things” (Matt. 6:33).
Money is sluggish when it is following, a sprinter when it is leading. In real life, fast runners don’t have the stamina to run long distance. But money is a fast runner doing a marathon. When it is following, don’t wait for it; when it is leading don’t chase it. May the Lord help us move at His pace so that our pace is not dictated by money.
Any believer who is rich should not be so because he fleeced others. Neither should it be as a result of accumulating things he was supposed to distribute, nor should they be things that he was supposed to pay out as salary or wages.
The prophet Jeremiah voiced a solemn warning from the Lord God as follows:
“As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” —Jeremiah 5:27-31.