"What Do You Want?"
September 8, 2013
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:8-9
A few years ago, I heard about an international company that was looking for a new director of marketing.
The position was a lucrative one and many applicants came forward to be interviewed. Eventually, the candidates were narrowed down to two finalists. Each of those men was brought in for a short and final visit. They were asked the same question: "What is two plus two?"
The first candidate thought a bit about his answer. He was wise enough to know that there had to be some kind of deeper purpose behind such a simple question. Eventually, he answered: "The answer to two plus two is four ... or we could also say it is the number between 3 and 5."
The man was thanked for his time and escorted out.
The second individual was invited in for his interview. The same question was asked of him: "What is two plus two?"
Without hesitation, the man replied with a question of his own. He asked, "Tell me what you want the answer to be, and I will make it so."
That fellow, and not the first, was hired.
It occurs to me that in some respects that story is the story of our lives. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all interviewing somebody whom we can spiritually follow: somebody into whose hands we can and will place our futures.
There are two candidates. The Lord says, "Put yourself in My hands. I can tell you the difference between right and wrong. I can lead you to faith in My Son, who gave Himself so you might be forgiven and saved. In Jesus your life can be blessed and your eternity will be assured."
But there is a second candidate for our loyalty.
When we bring this one in and ask why we should follow him, he says, "Tell me what you want the answer to be, and I will give it to you."
Tragically, far too many people hire the devil right then and there. That's because his promises seem so good, so beneficial, so desirable. Only the passing of time shows they have been duped by the "father of lies" (see John 8:44).
This is why I encourage you to follow the Lord. Only He has shown the kind of love that can forgive your sins, redeem your soul, and grant you all you really need ... not want ... but need.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Satan's seductions seem to promise satisfaction. May we be given eyes of faith that expose his falseness. Further, may we be granted the ability to trust in Jesus, who alone can give us what we need. In the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries