The scene set, both Jesus and Satan began calling to the people in the group and, one by one – each having made up his or her own mind – each went to either Jesus or Satan.
This kept going. Soon enough, Jesus had gathered around him a group of people from the larger crowd, as did Satan.
But one man joined neither group. He climbed the fence that was there and sat on it. Then Jesus and his people left and disappeared. So too did Satan and his people. And the man on the fence sat alone.
As this man sat, Satan came back, looking for something which he appeared to have lost. The man said, “Have you lost something?” Satan looked straight at him and replied, “No, there you are. Come with me.”
“But”, said the man, “I sat on the fence. I chose neither you nor him.” “That’s okay,” said Satan. “I own the fence.”
It is important to realize that the decisions we make today affect our tomorrow! Satan is the great deceiver. He would have us think that all pleasure is to be sought after. Sin is fun, right? No, it actually isn’t. It often gives this illusion, especially at first, but there are always lasting repercussions. That may sound shocking but you know it’s true. If sin did not present this illusion, many people wouldn’t sin. However……so many pleasures are simply a deception designed to draw us in for pain down the road.
This sounds tough but is oh so true; often we need to choose self-denial over pleasure. Remember that Satan is known as the great deceiver!
So, doing the wrong thing, sin, is fun, but only for a season, and the price we pay later is no fun at all. Sin is usually the easiest choice but the path of least resistance is often a deadly road. Many lives have been ruined by the inability to say no to things that are just plain wrong.
The great author and theologian, C.S. Lewis, said, “Good and evil both increase at compound interest.” What he was saying is that those little decisions that we make every day are so infinitely important! The smallest good thing today often leads to the greatest blessing tomorrow or months in the future. Good decisions build on themselves. Likewise–as we make poor decisions–we are often faced with future negative circumstances that were actually born from our past poor decisions.
Let’s look Hebrews 11:25 (TNIV)
He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
In making decisions, it is so important to choose heavenly rewards over earthly riches. In Pharaoh’s house, Moses would have had all the riches a man could ever want. Look at the hugeness of the pyramids and the great riches buried inside from the Pharaohs. Moses could have had that kind of wealth. Moses could have been buried there in one of those great and beautiful tombs.
Instead, Moses is buried in an unmarked grave on a lonely hill in the desert. Still–he made the right choice. God presided at his funeral. All of us are faced with choices, all of us are faced with decisions. And all of us should take action on those decisions. With God, I believe that we can WILL ourselves a better life. But it starts, continues and ends with making Godly decisions in our lives!
Let’s look at Hebrews 11:26 (TNIV)
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Now, let’s look at Satan’s Beatitudes. The deception is that “life is all about me”, “if it feels good, do it!”, “I don’t have the time”, “everyone else is wrong and I am right”……and on…and on…and on….
SATAN’S DECEPTIVE BEATITUDES:
Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians in Church ~ they are my best workers.
Blessed are those who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked ~ I can use them in my business.
Blessed are those who sow gossip and trouble ~ they are my beloved children.
Blessed are those who have no time to pray ~ for they are MY prey.
Blessed are those who gossip ~ for they are my secret agents.
Blessed are you when you read this and think it has everything to do with other people, and nothing to do with you. ~ I’ve got room for YOU at my place…..join me.
The truth is this: The decisions we make today affect our tomorrow. May you make good decisions based on God’s loving principals. May you follow Jesus when the path is clear and when the path is rocky. And may you resist the deceptions of the evil one.