|Danger in High Places - #6987|
|A Word With You - Your Hindrances|
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
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Some of our greatest ministry times have been among the wonderful Navajo people in Arizona and New Mexico. While we were there we had a chance to explore this majestic canyon known as Canyon De Chelly. Actually our son was there first. He and his friend, Michael, went there a year before us to do some youth outreach and later he brought his pictures out of his visit to the canyon. Here are these beautiful rock ledges and outcroppings that hover high above the canyon below. And we were enjoying these scenic photos until we got to the ones where my son and his friend Michael were acting like the college students that they were.
Yes, they were perched precariously in various positions on the edge of some of those rock formations. Our minds immediately rushed to the tragedies and the deadly falls we knew of that resulted from getting too close to the edge of a cliff. Needless to say, our son was treated to an unwelcome parental treatise on what might have happened. The view is so nice from those pinnacles! No one really wants to hear about the dangers.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Danger in High Places."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 4 where the Devil three times is coming to Jesus and interrupting Him face to face. Beginning at verse 5, the second temptation, "The Devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, 'I will give You all the authority and splendor for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.' So if You worship me, it will all be Yours.'" Jesus answered, "It is written, worship the Lord your God and serve Him only."
Well, the Devil took Jesus to a high place to tempt Him. He's still doing that. He's trying that strategy on people like you and me. He loves to exploit high places to get you to fall. He also likes to use the low places. He tried that first with Jesus when he was really hungry for 40 days and he tried to get Jesus to meet a legitimate need, but outside of God's boundaries. But when Satan can't get us to compromise when we're down, he goes after us when we're up. Like a time when you've really done something well or you've been given recognition or a good position.
A high place could be a time when your dream is finally starting to come true, or when a relationship you wanted is starting to click, or when the career or the money is starting to happen, when you've just had a great spiritual experience or victory. You feel as if you're looking at kingdoms that could be yours. You're perched on the edge. The view is great and you're in no mood to hear about the dangers. But that's what makes you a prime candidate to fall.
One danger is that you'll compromise to get to a place you really want to be. Just a little bending of the knee the Devil would say, a sexual compromise, an integrity compromise, a family compromise. He's saying, "Hey, it's almost in your grasp. If you'll just stretch a little morally, you could be on top."
Listen, if the Devil gets you to the top, you can be sure he's going to push you over the cliff. It's also tempting to compromise to stay in a good spot once you've gotten there. You've waited a long time to get to this point and you don't want to lose it. The Devil knows that, and he'll try to use that to get you to sacrifice something that you would otherwise never sacrifice. The problem with high places is that we depend on ourselves when we're there. In the low places we were really trusting God, but now we're on a roll. So we tend to push Jesus to the edge. It's easy to be full of ourselves when things are looking good. But that's when you are on the edge of a deadly fall.
Maybe God has brought you to a high place; maybe the Devil has brought you to a high place. But either way, you can bet the Devil is trying to exploit it. He is showing you what kingdom could be yours if you would just step a little closer to the edge where he can push you off.