Am I one of them?
When leaders become proud, haughty, and self-righteous watch out! People with these traits become more and more demanding of all those around them including God, Himself. Truth Bomb: These traits are not of God and not in His character. Not only are these leaders hard to live with and follow, they are dangerous to any work environment. These challenging traits are in the top ten traits of the evil one, who tried in heaven to be like God and was thrown out! This fallen angel and his army of demons, who still masquerade as enticingly good, prowls like a lion, is like a wolf among the sheep, a liar, is a misrepresentation of Truth. How do I know? The Bible tells me so. Here are a few examples…
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8, NIV
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44, NIV
“Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.” 2 Corinthians 11:14, Msg
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15, NIV
KNOW OUR ENEMY
The evil one has very limited power but uses what he has to draw self-seeking people away from the following the sheep herd looking for Jesus with the only goal of death. Jesus is the opposite.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” –Jesus, John 10:10, NIV
Truth: The evil one hates Jesus! So, evil uses these character traits of self-satisfaction seeking to manipulate the thoughts of our minds. He replaces the cry of our hearts for God with distractions and all that is “shiny” in our eyes that will soon destroy us. Evil wants to fill the void in souls who long for God but don’t know God or have put God aside in pursuit of self. We are easy prey when we walk away from God.
Evil makes demands, pushing their way to the top, walking over everyone in their way to be where they think they should be. Evil is a Liar, the chief among Liars, the prince of darkness.
Jesus loves. Jesus heals. Jesus saves. Jesus is God who wants the best for all His created. Jesus, Son of God, is Truth, Light, and Life forevermore. To all who believe receives power in the Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. “Greater is HE that is in me than he (evil) who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
We get to choose. Light or Dark? Pause to pray.
Do not test God! Yikes!
I’m reminded of this commandment and of Jesus’ response to Satan when He was tempted:
“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.” Deuteronomy 6:13-16, NIV Emphasis mine.
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Matthew 4:4-7, NIV
Jesus wins the battle with evil in his temptation with God’s Word.
Does that work for us? A million times YES!
A marker for evil: “Only evil demands a sign”–Jesus
Matthew—God’s Law Fulfilled
Matthew 16:1-4, NLT
Leaders Demand a Miraculous Sign
One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
2 He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; 3 red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times! 4 Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away.
THINK ABOUT IT…
The saddest and most profound action of Jesus upon the demands of evil working through these leaders is this: “Jesus left them and went away”! Oh, friends, I cannot imagine living my life without Jesus! I do not want to fall for evil who wants me to make demands of God, causing the Almighty to go away. That would be like David who became a self-seeking leader which led to his own self-destructive behavior. But David came back to God to repent with this request;
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:10-12, NIV
We can do the same. Leave all that is evil and come back to God. God provided a way back to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. Believe on His Name and be saved. He promises to NEVER leave us. He will never walk away from those who believe. Since He is Truth, we can put all our hope and trust in Him.
Forgive us when we make demands of what we think is best for us or test you to see if you are the One and Only. I simply believe. Restore and renew our thinking each day we live on this earth in preparation for our forever home with You. Be in all the details. Give us wisdom to run when evil tells us to make demands of you and misrepresents Truth. Yes, lead us not into temptations but DELIVER us from evil. For you have ALL power, to you be ALL glory for all that is right and good, pleasing and leads to life! Thank you for your promise to never leave us. Thank you for your victory over evil. Thank you for the fighting and winning the battle over evil for our minds.
In Jesus Name, Amen