Jump start # 2724
Luke 4:13 “And so when the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.”
Our verse today is how Luke concludes the temptation of Jesus. The devil had finished, but he really wasn’t finished. There would be more attacks. He would use people. He would use questions that tried to put Jesus in a corner. The devil pushed and pushed but he never could make Jesus fall down. He left, but he was coming back.
And, that’s a lesson for us. So many are looking forward to the day when things will be normal and the world will be free of Covid-19. But that won’t happen. This virus isn’t like a weed in your yard that you spray and then it dies and it dies for good. We have a vaccine for the flu, but every year there is a flu season. The flu never goes away for good. So what this tells us is that rather than looking forward to a time when we can reset things as they once were, we now have to look at how to manage things in a covid world. Some things that we do not like leave, but they always seem to come back. Leaders of God’s people may have to make some permanent changes and adjustments to how we sit, serve and do things. I expect Adam wished he could go back to the days of Eden. But that wasn’t going to happen. The new world he lived in had things that weren’t in Eden, such as struggles, pain and death. Those were going to remain. Adam, and the rest of us, have to deal with those things.
Some thoughts for us:
First, the book of James is true that if we resist, the devil will flee. We see that in Jesus’ temptation. The devil left. But, he’d be back. And, that’s true when we resist. He never leaves for good. It’s going to be a constant battle until we leave this planet and then we will be finished with the devil once and for all.
Second, the devil has more than one trick up his sleeve. He’ll try one thing for a while. It if works, he’ll stay at it. More intense. But, if we resist, he’ll return with another trick up his sleeve. He’ll push all of your buttons until he finds the right one. It’s always a battle. We must keep our eyes open and keep close to the Lord.
Third, the adjustments we must make to deal with the world we live in often are not what we want and they are not easy. Little ones will grow up with a view of things much differently than we older ones. But it’s always been that way. There was a time, long ago, when people never locked the front doors of their homes. They went to stores and left the car key in the ignition. We’d never do that today. It’s just not safe. The world has changed and we’ve had to make adjustments. I’ve talked to many in different congregations and there seems to be a new and better way of collecting money than passing the plate down the rows. A lot of fingers touch those plates. Others are thinking about using the prepackaged Lord’s Supper as a permanent way of observing the Lord’s Supper. Less touch by others the better. This will make a shift in the number of men needed in scheduling. This will require more behind the scenes in getting it all set up. Adjustments. Making things safer, more efficient, and more healthy.
Fourth, some do not do well with changes. This is seen when a congregation moves to a new location. Some fight and drag their feet and never do like the new place. This is seen when a congregation changes preachers. Some just never warm up to the new guy. Some are always comparing the new one with what the old one did. And, when we don’t do well with changes, we resist unity and connecting as God wants us to. Some, decades later, continue to talk about how things used to be. And, we wonder if we will do the same with conversations about covid? Will we continue to talk about how we used to have worship and how we used to do things? Some things may never go back to the way they once were.
Finally, one of the great lessons we learn from Jesus is that He continued to faithfully serve His Father. Tempted or not. Pressured or not. People following Him or not. Easy or not. And, that’s the lesson for us. How we do things is not nearly as important as what we are doing. We will continue to bow before the Lord, honor Him and walk closely with Him. The pre-covid and post-covid way of worshipping may have some differences, but worship will remain the same. Worship comes from our insides. Worship is built upon hearts that love the Lord.
Satan left for awhile. He was coming back. He always does. But one day, as we say goodbye to this world, we will say good riddance once and for all to that ole’ Devil. He’ll be out of our minds, out of our way and out of the world we will be living in.