Pastor Mike McCoy
Vineyard / Concord
Luke 4:5-8 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ “
Jesus came to change the world. And, to bring real lasting change he needed authority. Jesus is challenged in the desert to bring change the devil’s way – using control and dominance. I imagine that over the many days of temptation in the desert Jesus wrestled with the idea that the end justifies the means. That in order to change the world he might have to make a deal with the devil – because the devil is the ‘prince of this world’, the one who controls the kingdoms of this world. But Jesus knows that control is not authority. He knows that only the One authorized by God can really change the world and people’s lives. He knows that authority flows from his relationship with his Father, from his being the beloved Son. He knows his authority rests on his submission to the Father’s plan for changing the world, on him doing what the Father wants him to do. And he knows that God’s plan will cost him his life. He will take up his cross and willingly die to save us in an act of sacrificial love. Yet, Jesus willingly embraces all of this and rejects the devil’s lies because he loves his Father more than himself or his mission to change the world. When he puts God first, when he worships God alone, he is then given authority and power to change the world.
God gives his children, you and me, the authority to change the world. But we will be tempted to control our world and people instead of loving and serving them unless we remember we are God’s beloved children and love Him more than ourselves or our mission. Pray to not be fooled by the devil. Control is not authority. Dominance is not power. Life changing kingdom authority flows from loving surrender to God our Father.
Prayer: Father, I surrender myself to your love. Help me to walk in the authority you have given me as I represent you in the world. AMEN