Again, the devil took Him along to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to serve Him.
A third time, Satan tempted Jesus, by offering Him the glory of the nations if only He would give praise to Satan. Again, Jesus responded to Satan’s temptations with truth from Scripture. Just as Moses reminded the Israelites that God alone was to be praised, so too Jesus clung to that truth. There will always be someone or something vying for our attention and praise. But all pale in comparison to the God of the universe who alone deserves glory.
For us, the temptation of this kind may look a bit different. The temptation will likely not be the glory of many nations. Instead, we may believe that we constantly need more influence or power. More likes. More followers. We need more people to see and approve of us. We need more validation for how much we do. We need more credit for all the ways we have served God. Whether or not we care to admit it, we love the praise and glory of others. This doesn’t mean we should reject any pat on the back or affirmation for what we do. To do that would be to discredit the One who has made us and gifted us. But it does mean that at every turn, we seek to worship and honor God with all we say and do. All we are and all we have are wholly from Him.
All of us are worshiping something or someone. After all, it is in our DNA to worship. But Jesus was quick to remember—and remind us—that there is only One who deserves our praise. There is only One who deserves the glory of our worship—in our words and deeds. To take any of this for ourselves is to fall prey to Satan’s lies.
- Where are you tempted to take glory and praise in your own life? Where do you seek this from others?
- In what area of your life are you struggling to worship? Where are you struggling to give honor to God with your words and actions?
- Ask the Lord to search your heart and make known the objects of your worship. Ask Him to reorient your affections and praise to Him alone.