If you observe many of the people around you—and maybe even your own life—most of us live life like we're on a treadmill. That is, we run so hard to climb the ladder of success, build a bigger bank account or to be liked by more people. Yet in the end, we exert so much effort only to end up feeling just as empty, alone and insignificant as before.
The Dangling Carrot of Significance
In reality, the root issue behind our constant striving has everything to do with how we view ourselves—our identities. I know that I've been guilty of this. With an identity of rejection based upon childhood struggles, as I grew up, I came to define my worth in my achievements. And so, I'd frequently hop on the treadmill of success only to chase a feeling of significance that I could never really reach. And even when I did reach a certain level, it was never enough; I'd then strive and strive for the next thing that was never enough.
The Devil's Treadmill
Ultimately, this is all part of the devil's strategy. He wants you to wear yourself out trying to be something that you already are in Christ: accepted, loved, righteous and complete.
While I writing my new book, Activating the Power of God's Word, the Lord revealed to me that Satan's tactics on us today aren't anything new. In fact, he tried the very same strategy on Jesus. And the way Jesus handled it then is your way off the devil's treadmill today. Allow me to explain.
"Do something to prove yourself!"
Matthew's gospel tells the story of Jesus' temptation by Satan in the wilderness (see Matt. 4:1-11). Immediately after Jesus was physically weakened from fasting, the devil approached Him to question His identity. "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be turned into bread," Satan taunted (v. 3). In other words, "Do something to prove yourself!"
And that's what you and I hear all of the time.
But Jesus didn't reason with the devil. He didn't need to prove Himself, because God's Word about who He is—"My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17b)—was enough proof. Instead of arguing with Satan, Jesus countered him by declaring the truth that assures it was not bread that sustained Him, but "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4b).
God's Word Is All the Proof You Need
And God's Word is all the proof you need too! Hear this: Nothing that you do or achieve will ever add one ounce to your significance or worth. You are accepted, loved, made righteous and considered complete because God says that you are—and that's enough. So hop off the treadmill of striving and begin to declare and stand upon who you are and what you already have in Christ.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his book, Activating the Power of God's Word, uncovers 16 strategic declarations to transform your life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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