Temptation 3: Worldly wealth, power and influence
Once more, the Adversary took him up to the summit of a very high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, and said to him, “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.” “Away with you, Satan!” Yeshua told him, “For the Tanakh say ‘Worship ADONAI your God, and serve only him.'” Matthew 4:8-10
The meaning of worldly wealth, power and influence can vary from person to person. Our mindset can influence the way we perceive these things. For some it might be as extreme as becoming famous like a celebrity; for others it might be simply having a certain type and size of house, car, clothes, material things as a whole – any thing that will make us look like we are wealthy and/or have some type of superior power and/or influence.
Money speaks! Money breeds influence as well as the ability to do things and go places.
However it has its own set of worries and troubles; and on its own, it does not solve any problem that goes beyond the physical. Money can make you happy but it cannot promise joy. It allows you the freedom to eat well, dress well and take care of you and yours but it does not guarantee health and well-being. It gives you the ability to get a house but it cannot give you a home and security of family. It draws friends and companions but it does not guarantee love.
Money offers many things but whenever it comes to the better things, the eternal things, the things that matter most, it comes up short – it is lacking.
The Bible speaks about the “deceitful glamor of wealth”. This is the perception of wealth that makes us believe that money will solve all our problems, that it will fill the voids in our life, that it will make us feel purposeful, accomplished and important, and that it will give us all we need and more. With this view in mind, we then do all that we can to achieve this wealth, influence, prominence and status only to discover that we were fooled. It is not all that we thought it will be.
After compromising our values, our families, our health, our integrity, expending all that we have and all that we are to get this position, we realize that we are still lonely or hurting or empty or sick or angry.
This is the trap in which the enemy wishes to ensnare us. The enemy could not get Yeshua distracted by the hunger – a temporary need – and forsake his eternal purpose. He could not get Him to be proud, reckless and presumptuous. So he thought, “He is about to launch out into ministry (purpose), let me try to distract Him with prominence, status, wealth, and honour. All He needs to do is worship me, honour me. After all, He might find it useful in gaining Him some momentum”. At this point the enemy gave Yeshua the ultimate choice – to worship him or YHVH!
But Yeshua refused to dishonour His Father and compromise His character, purpose and identity for worldly gain and influence that last only a moment.
The Bible declares, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Nothing! We will only sell ourselves short. Let me tell you, money can and will do many things but YHVH can and will do EVERYTHING.
He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. He will care for the spirit, soul and body. His grace and provision cover the temporal and the eternal.
When all was said and done, scripture declares that He was “obedient even to death”. As a result, “God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow–in heaven, on earth and under the earth–and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is ADONAI–to the glory of God the Father.” He received eternal and ultimate honour, power, authority, dominion, status, prominence, and influence!
As we realign our lives, let us remain faithful, worship God, honour His Word to the end that we may receive our temporal and eternal rewards!
– Choosing YHVH