Day Twenty-Five: Worship

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

“Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve’” (Matthew 4:10). This is Jesus’ response to satan’s third temptation. First, Jesus not only refused to submit to the devil’s temptations, He also definitively rebuked the evil one himself. Second, Jesus went beyond rebuking satan and his temptation by speaking the eternal truth that we must worship and serve God alone.

When God created the celestial hierarchy of angels, He gave each celestial being an invitation to worship Him and serve His perfect will. The book of Revelation 12:4 tells us that “a third of the stars in the sky,” meaning a third of the angels, refused God’s invitation and were cast out of Heaven. After their banishment, these fallen angels retained their natural powers and use them to try to thwart God’s perfect plan, which is to draw all of creation to Himself. It is important to be aware of this reality and the burden it imposes upon us as we walk through life. It is even more important to learn from Jesus’ encounter with the evil one and to imitate His perfect response as we ponder His forty days in the desert.

Rebuking satan is the first way we imitate our Lord. To do so, we first discern and reject the lies the evil one throws at us. Additionally, we must rebuke satan himself. We do this by acknowledging that the devil and the fallen demons have power to influence us, deceive us, and tempt us. By ourselves, we are powerless over their influence. Only by uniting our prayerful rebuke to Christ’s prayer can we say with Jesus’ authority, “Get away, Satan!” This rebuke must become a lifelong prayer of constant vigilance. The evil one does not sleep and never stops tempting us, so we must become constant in our rebukes. We ought not pretend the devil doesn’t exist, but we must not fear him either. Instead, we acknowledge him and rebuke him with our Lord, over and over again.

Moving beyond rebukes, we must turn our attention to the higher truths God has revealed—namely, that we were made to worship the Lord our God and serve Him alone. Worship goes to the core of who we are and for what we were made. Worship does not add to God’s greatness; God is great simply because He is. Worship, however, glorifies God, and our participation in worship elevates the level of glory God receives from His creatures. We worship God because doing so transforms us more fully into His children and draws us into a fuller participation in His divine life. This is all God wants. He wants us to be in deep communion with Him, to share in His holiness, and to radiate His glory in our lives. Worship is nothing other than pure love, and it is that love alone that fulfills us.

Ponder the two contrasting voices you encounter every day. One must be rebuked with the power of Jesus’ command, and the other must be embraced on a deeper level every day. Worshiping God is fulfilling. It is what you are made for. Worship will transform you into the person God wants you to be. It will draw you into a sharing in God’s life and is ultimately the only way to find full protection from the deceptions of the fallen angels, so as to share in God’s radiant glory.

My glorious God, You have invited all whom You created to share in Your life by worshiping You and You alone. That act of worship pours forth a share in Your divine life upon Your creatures. Please strengthen me to rebuke the devil and his many lies, and then draw me into the life of worship for which I was created. I love You, my God, and choose to worship You and You alone for eternity. Jesus, I trust in You.

See also: Day Twenty-Five: 40 Days at the Foot of the Cross

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