Let's Make A Deal with Monty Hall. One of the wackiest and funniest game shows that I have ever watched. They have brought it back with Wayne Brady doing the honors now, but when I was growing up, the original was airing on TV for the first time. There were not a whole lot of choices on TV back then to watch, and most were a lot different than they are now. So it was fun to see people willing to dress up in crazy costumes, trying to draw the attention of Monty so that they could play the game. Sometimes I catch reruns on TVLand and it is still fun to watch the goofiness.
I want to talk today about another deal maker. It is called us and God. Sometimes we try to be deal makers, but more often than not we're just deal breakers. Even Satan tried to tempt Jesus and make deals with Him.
This is from the New American Standard Bible
Luke 4 The Temptation of Jesus
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’” 5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’
‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”
13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
Notice verse 12. "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."
How many of us have tried to make a deal with God?
"Lord, if you let me win the lottery, I'll start tithing."
"Lord, if you help me to find the right mate for me, I'll stop spending all my time in the bars."
"Lord if you provide this, then I will do this."
Sound familiar? We need to beware of our actions and not do things that are contrary to what the bible teaches us. The passage above is a very familiar one to many of us who grew up in church. Preachers love to talk about the time when Jesus was tempted by the devil right before He started His ministry. Notice when Jesus succeeds in the temptations, he is attended to by the angels and then he starts his ministry by preaching in Galilee where word about the happenings are already spreading among the people. Notice that Jesus didn't even have to introduce himself as he went to the villages. God prepared the way for him so that he would be more effective, especially at the baptism by John the Baptist. (read chapter 3 sometime.)
God will do the same for us. He will make a way for us when we do what He asks us to do, or not do. We simply need to obey His will, and quit trying to make ours become His. Then God can and will provide for us. Does that mean we'll win the lottery? NO. Odds are 1 in 175,223,510.00. And that is if you buy a ticket. Does that mean you'll meet your mate that God planned for you in a bar? Probably not. Most people that hang in bars are not the people who are going to be serving God like they should. (not all though, some people like to mingle, some people use them as a ministry, such as the CMA motorcyclists ministry.)
Stop today and ask God what He wants You to do today to live a live in accordance to His Will. Then start to be that person. Live that life. And then, watch what God will do.
Our God, is an awesome God,
He reigns, from heaven above,
With wisdom, power and love,
Our God is an awesome God.
(Awesome God chorus by Rich Mullins)