No matter how appealing they may seem at the time, Satan’s promises are always a downgrade from what you already have in Christ. Accepting the promises of the evil one is akin to trading in a brand-new car with all the bells and whistles for a forty-year-old vehicle that barely runs. Of course, The devil is far subtler than this.
He’s more like the used car salesman who sells you a car which looks beautiful on the outside and even runs great for the warranty period but afterward becomes erratic and unreliable until you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Things look so shiny when Satan flashes them before our eyes. We want them. We need them. In the end, whatever the devil is selling is not worth buying. Besides, we already have so much more in Christ. Satan even tried his tricks on Jesus. After fasting for forty days (when was the last time you tried that?), Jesus was physically weak, hungry, and low on willpower (Matthew 4:1-11). The devil comes swooping in and offers Jesus all sorts of things if only Christ would worship him. Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world, but He was already the King of the Universe. Talk about your downgrades! The devil encouraged Christ to turn stones into bread to address His hunger. Jesus Himself is the bread of life; He doesn’t need any cheap substitutes.
It’s easy to dismiss what happened in the wilderness between Jesus and Satan by making the excuse that Jesus is God and we are not. Don’t forget, Jesus was fully man and fully God. He was as susceptible to temptation as we are. The difference was He never lost sight of who He was to the Father and what His mission was on earth. The temptations of Satan were very real for Jesus. He simply understood He was being offered some horrendous downgrades to what He already possessed.
With what has the devil caught your eye these days? Remember, Satan’s promises are always a downgrade. If he offers joy, remember unspeakable joy is already at your fingertips (1 Peter 1:8-9); I don’t think he can top that. If the adversary promises you wealth, remember you are already an heir to an immense fortune (Psalm 50:10; Romans 8:16-17). There is not one promise of Satan that can hold a candle to what you have already gained in Christ. Every promise of the evil one is hollow, temporary, and deceiving. In contrast, all we have in Jesus is full, eternal, and true.
The next time you face temptation, look beyond the momentary pleasure or reward. It’s a lie. You already have something more valuable. Satan is doing everything he can to blind you to this truth. He is the father of all liars (John 8:44) and will never tell the full truth. He cannot because to do so would be to acknowledge what truth is, namely the son of the living God. He can’t go there. Satan’s promises are always a downgrade. Don’t give up the better things you already possess for the trinkets he passes before your eyes.