Ever heard of this war strategy? Your enemy deceives you into focusing your strength and efforts on a target that is actually a secondary one. Meanwhile, they attack the primary target, and defeat you.
Satan is a master at the tactic. He wants us to focus on secondary issues so that we miss the primary things God wants for us.
That way we get tied up in shallow efforts and insignificant goals ad, and then misdirect our time and energy away from what we should be focusing on.
Remember: Our actions (secondary battleground) flow out of our hearts (primary battleground). When we focus on ACTING a certain way (and on judging others’ behavior) and ignore BEING with God, we’ve lost the battle.
Satan tried the strategy on Jesus, when tempted the Lord in the desert.
MOTIVATION: TO BE BETTER THAN THE NEXT GUY?
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:3-4)
There is nothing wrong with ambition, power or achievement, as long as we seek them for the right, God-inspired reasons. But if you strive to be better than others for no reason other than to gain value for yourself, then you are in bondage to that motivation. Our value is defined solely because we are children of God
MOTIVATION: TO BE MORE AFFIRMED?
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Matthew 4:5-7)
Ask yourself, what is the devil tempting you to do merely so that others will be in awe of you? On the flip side, what are you NOT doing—i.e., sharing the gospel, exhorting a brother or sister in sin, volunteering for a thankless job — because you want to look impressive and be liked? There is only one Person you need to be affirmed by.