The Temptation of Shiny Darts

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Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,

‘You must worship the Lord your God

    and serve only him." Matthew 4:5-8

 

"They are going to think this is the best thing ever created," I thought as I closed down my computer at the end of my workday. 

I had set aside several hours to complete a much-needed starting piece for the project I was running. It had all come together beautifully.

Hours earlier, when I had first sat down at my computer to begin the project, I had battled many thoughts that I was a fraud, and there is no way I could make something great. But I had leaned into God in prayer, asking for help to overcome my fears and help me get started. I trusted God that He would provide the answers as I went and had buckled down to get it done.

God had shown up big time. First, by filling me with courage and settling my soul. He reminded me that He was the one who had called me to this role, and He would equip me as I went. Equip He did. As soon as I forged ahead, great ideas popped into my head over and over again. Four hours later, the end result was certainly something to be proud of. The information was well laid out in a beautiful presentation.  

Smiling at the thought of how pleased my boss and her boss agreed, I nodded my head in agreement. Elated by the sense of accomplishment, I practically skipped to my car for an after-work errand. Driving down the road, I imagined my boss giving me kudos for a job well done. I imagined an email from her boss stating how much they loved the template and how much they appreciated me being in the role they had placed me in. For the first time, instead of feeling like a fraud who had no idea what she was doing, I imagined them being pleased and thinking they had made the right decision to put me in the role.

But a convicting thought interrupted my singing along to the radio about halfway to town.

"You are attaching your value to this project again, beloved," the Spirit warned.

Wait? What?

Puzzled, I turned off the radio to lean into this discovered truth. Of course, the Spirit was right. I had been imagining my boss and her boss telling me how amazing I am. In other words, I was seeking glory, my glory, for the project I had just completed. And nowhere in this glory-seeking was I giving credit to God for giving me the strength and know-how through the day. I was being tempted by shiny darts.

Now, I know if you have probably heard about fiery darts, but have you ever thought about shiny darts? Shiny darts are the wrong thoughts cloaked in something that looks good. They are just as deadly. In fact, they might even be more toxic because they are so much easier to fall for. They seem good but are temptations to lead you off the path. 

Jesus also handled a shiny dart temptation in the wilderness. Picture it. "Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time" (Luke 4:5). Then after Jesus sees all of this, he says, "I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them," the devil said, "because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me." (Luke 4:6-7)

The key here is that the devil showed him first before telling him the requirements to gain it. Then he lied to Jesus, saying he had the authority to give it to him. It is the same temptation he used on me in my car. He showed me my boss giving me kudos in my head and finally feeling good about how I was doing in my role. Then he lied and said he could give it to me, but of course, he can't and was setting me up for disappointment.    

But Jesus gives the correct response and with it teaches us the way to overcome. Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say, 'You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him." Luke 4:8. We must catch the shiny dart and throw it out, and give glory to God. 

I am getting better at catching these shiny darts now and remembering the one who deserves the glory. 

Let's give Him glory now:

Father, you are the only one who deserves the glory. You have given me everything I have. You forgave me, redeemed my life, and set me on the path the glorious life you planned for me before the foundation of the world. Help me to see these shiny darts for what they are and throw them out. I will glorify and serve you only. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Grow in Truth: 

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,

    to receive glory and honor and power.

For you created all things,

    and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:11

 

Walk Towards Freedom 

Share a shiny dart that tempts you. 

 

How are you going to apply this to your life?

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