Posted by Rev. Mark Slay

There are two main areas where we can disobey. One is in following the written Word and another is in following the Spirit.

In Luke chapter 4, we find an account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Let me stop here to say that the devil is extremely good at deceiving and he knows he's good at it. If he didn't think he had a chance at deceiving Jesus, he never would have tried. But, he knows he's good, and he sees how his deceptions have worked on people for 4,000 years and he thinks maybe it will work on Jesus. Let's look.

Luke 4:1-2 - Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

Luke says Jesus was led by the Spirit and Mark says it a little different; Mark says Jesus was impelled by the Spirit. It was an inward compelling. He was impelled by the Spirit from the inside, and He just obeyed. He's following the Holy Ghost and in this case, it led Him into temptation. You can be following the Holy Ghost and be led into temptation.

Continue in verse 2 - ...And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."

The devil is taking advantage of a weakened position here, and he looks for those in your life too. Now, could Jesus have made the stone become bread? Yes, He could have. The problem here is the Lord didn't want Him to. And by obeying satan, He would now be obeying satan's voice instead of the voice of the Lord.

Remember the problem in the Garden of Eden? Was the problem an apple? No, it was that they obeyed satan's voice and not the Lord's. That's the issue here in these verses; as soon as He obeys satan's voice, satan becomes lord over the earth instead of Jesus.

See, it's important that we obey the written Word, but it's also important that we don't obey the voice of satan because then we make him lord unconsciously instead of Jesus. You unconsciously make him lord in your life through that obedience.

Let's look at the next temptation starting in verse 5 - And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours."

Would it have been okay for Jesus to have the kingdoms of the world? Yes, He's going to have them anyway. What's the sin here? The sin is choosing to obey the voice of satan. If He obeys the voice of satan, then satan becomes Lord. The way you make satan Lord of your life is by obeying his voice - sometimes unconsciously. Don't you know Eve, although she did it willfully, she did it unconsciously. She had no idea what was coming as a result of that simple act of obeying satan. She made the decision willfully, although she didn't understand the consequences. She obeyed and he became Lord even tho it was by trickery.

Continue with verse 9 - And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,' 11 and, 'On their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'"

Now notice in verse 10 the devil quotes the written Word. There is no dispute; this is a verse that the devil quoted. But, he took it out of context, and he took it out of the intent that God wrote it in. People need to realize, they have to understand the background and intent of the Scripture, and not just the wording of it. You have to know where it fits. Sometimes people can quote the Scripture and have no idea how to apply it. Only wisdom can tell you that.

Romans 8:14 says, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." See, what God speaks to you thru the Spirit carries the same importance as the written Word of God. The Spirit of God is not going to say anything to you that contradicts the written Word.

I Samuel 15 gives the account of King Saul not obeying the instructions he had received from the Lord thru Samuel. He did what he thought was good and it wasn't what God had told him thru Samuel. Look what the Lord says to Saul in verses 22&23: Samuel said, "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king."

According to verse 23, when you don't obey, it's rebellion. Christians will be against divination or fortune telling and I am too, but I've met a lot of Christians who won't obey God and what does this verse tell us? Rebellion (disobedience) is as the sin of divination. And at the end of verse 23, Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king. I don't know about you, but I don't like that.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. We need to do what the Lord tells us to do.