During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:13 NLT
Growing up, I had holes in my pockets.
Well … not really, but my parents and both of my grandmothers told me I did. I’m sure when they said, “That money is burning a hole in your pocket,” I had no idea what they meant until they explained it, but instant gratification had something to do with it.
My parents gave me an allowance for doing chores around the house, and my grandparents would slip me a little now and then also. No sooner did I receive my money than I looked for something to buy.
Though my dad taught me to save—a certain percentage in savings, a certain percentage to God, and the remainder for whatever I wanted—I didn’t adhere to his lesson too well. The money burned a hole in my pocket. What I wanted, I wanted right then.
Satan threw this instant gratification temptation at Jesus after Jesus had fasted for forty days in the wilderness. Rocks abounded. Why not turn some of them into bread and have a feast. But that wouldn’t have been trusting His heavenly Father to care for Him. Jesus said no. People don’t live by bread alone. Nor by instantly gratifying themselves.
Happiness and contentment aren’t found in things, although that’s the message Satan still tosses around. Get this … and you’ll be happy. If you must buy it by using money you need for bills, it’s okay. Or if you must steal it because you don’t have the money, go ahead. He forgets to tell us things are temporary … or that the happiness is short-lived. Like a child, what makes me happy today, I’ll probably cast aside in a few months.
Things—and thinking we must have them immediately regardless of how we get them—lead to unnecessary debt and unwise decisions. The instant gratification mindset can also lead us into relationships or other immoral actions God would want us to leave alone.
God wants us to wait on Him. He has the best in store for us and will deliver it at the appropriate time. His best is ahead most of the time … not instantly … and through prayer and patience, we’ll experience a joy we won’t through our efforts of instant gratification.
Let God teach you to wait on Him for the things you need and want.
Prayer: Father, when we are tempted to instantly gratify ourselves, help us to wait on You.
Tweetable: Are you willing to wait for God's best?
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