Both God and the Enemy lead us by desires. The scripture says, “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”¹ But it also says, the enemy is like a prowling lion, who is seeking to lure us into temptation.²
God’s desires and Satan’s temptations are in conflict with each other. The bible says, “the desires of the spirit are in opposition to the things of the flesh.” If we choose to follow God we will naturally be overcoming temptation.³ When God told Solomon to ask anything he wanted, God said because you didn’t choose long life or wealth or the death of your enemies, but instead asked for wisdom; “wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you.”⁴ Solomon did the hard thing and sought to please God, instead of giving in to temptation, and God rewarded him accordingly.
Both God and the Enemy will water the desires they plant in us.⁵ God may be preparing us for a beautiful marriage, and Satan might be preparing us for an adulterous relationship. Both God and Satan will teach us why their way is best and most satisfying. God is teaching us truth, he is driven by love and wants our best;⁶but Satan is teaching us lies, he is driven by hate and wants our worst.⁷ Our desires for good or evil will increase depending on who we believe.
God tells us to guard our heart with great diligence, because out of it are the outgoings of life.⁸ If we focus on the juicy worm of Satan’s temptation, and ignore God’s warning about the hook, our desires will increase until they give birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown will give birth to death.⁹But if we focus on the promises and rewards of God, these desires will increase until they give birth to righteousness, which results in life.¹⁰ Ultimately Satan’s hatred will turn out for our misery, and God’s love will turn out for our satisfaction.¹¹
Obedience often seems like it will be worse for us, but we are told to “walk by faith and not by sight.”¹² God said "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."¹³ The Lord “thwarts the craving of the wicked,” but he promised to give the righteous “the desires of their heart.”¹⁴
Sin is pleasurable for a time, but Satan’s goal is to kill steal and destroy us.¹⁵ On the other hand righteousness may be miserable for a time, but God’s goal is for our good, to give us hope and a future.¹¹
The scripture doesn’t say obedient Christians will always die in bliss, or all wicked people will die in misery. We don’t know if we will die during the blessings and curses from our last trial, or weather we will die in the midst of a new trial. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."¹⁶ Sometimes the blessings of our last trial become the main hardship of our next trial.¹⁷ But we can bank on the promise that God is working all things for our good.¹⁸ Momentarily God may not seem good, but “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”¹⁹
① Philippians 2:13 ② 1 Peter 5:8 / 1 Thessalonians 3:5 / Matthew 26:41 / Genesis 4:7 / James 1:14 ③ Galatians 5:16–17 ④ 2 Chronicles 1:7–12 / 1 Kings 3:5–14 ⑤ Isaiah 44:26 / Hebrews 12:2 / Luke 4:13 ⑥ 1 John 4:7 / John 14:6 / Romans 8:28 ⑦ John 8:44 / Revelation 12:12 / John 10:10 ⑧ Proverbs 4:23 ⑨ James 1:15 ⑩ 2 Peter 1:4 / Romans 6:16 / John 14:6 ⑪ Proverbs 21:21 / Romans 8:28 / Jeremiah 29:11 ⑫ 2 Corinthians 5:7 ⑬ Matthew 10:39 ⑭ Proverbs 10:3 / Psalm 37:4 ⑮ Hebrews 11:25 / John 10:10 ⑯ Acts 14:22 ⑰ Genesis 22:2 ⑱ Romans 8:28 ⑲ Job 13:15
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