Just finished up the 4th part of Andy Stanley’s Pause sermon series on the podcast, catch it here.
Getting caught up in it. All of us have some of this inside. Ambition. Being a perfectionist. Continually demanding forward motion. Driven by the burning desire to succeed.
If you’re wired that way you’re set up for a very specific and subtle temptation… our quest and desire and lust for progress sets us up to take shortcuts. An opportunity comes up to take a giant step forward, but to take it we’ll have to compromise our values. Checking our morals, ethics, conscience or values at the door. Not forever, but just for a moment. Do the deal while setting aside something very important. Just going to have to do the wrong thing, and justify setting aside our values temporarily. And try to reason that once we get to the other side we’ll be fine, and put the thing we set aside back into place.
In that moment of decision, we discover who we really are and “whos” we really are.
In Matthew Chapter 4, Jesus fights off the devil and the big three temptations: Physical needs and desires, possessions and powers, and pride.
This is the third and final battle that Jesus does with the devil: – Whether to take the evil one up on the temptation to pursue the right thing but in the wrong way, by abandoning that which He knows is right.
To which Jesus replied: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Matthew 4:10
The moment we choose to take the shortcut we loose our confidence in our Heavenly Father. This is a test of our trust in God. And if we choose the shortcut it leaves us separated from God.
Andy says all of us will experience this temptation. It usually comes in the form of something of utmost importance to us. We may even think God has called us for it. In that moment, we’ll discover who we are and “whos” we are. And we’ll discover who He is.
If we break, we’ll never know what God may have done on our behalf. Andy’s lesson from the Bible here is don’t trade what’s important for what’s immediate. There’s something more important than whatever THAT is, it’s uncompromised fellowship with the Father.
What is it that you want so badly that the only way to get there is to compromise your principles? To sacrifice what you know is important?