Again, the devil (ὁ διάβολος) took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’’ Then the devil (ὁ διάβολος) left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.” (Mt 4: 8-11)

The “devil” is one who slanders or misrepresents, by turning things around (“devil” comes from the Greek word διαβάλλω, to throw over). Here he misrepresents “kingdoms” as if they were his to give; as if he, Satan, were the source of “power.” No, he wouldn’t have any at all, as Jesus famously said to Pilate, were it not given him “from above.” (Jn 19:11) The kind of “power” that Satan is allowed to offer, because of his God-given freedom, is bought at the price of “falling down” – and staying there – in slavish “worship” of creation, namely, him.

So do I strive for “power”? No, I strive for Power. It is the power of the One Source of Power, God, because outside of Him, without Him I can do nothing. When I strive to “do” without Him I am led to slavery, to one thing or another, which Satan may offer me as a God-surrogate. Let me be attentive to any dependencies like workaholism, consumerism, alcoholism, or human codependency, that may be calling me to “fall down and worship” before creation, which has no power to raise me up again. “O Lord and Master of my life,” I say today, this spirit, of this kind of love of power, “give me not,” that I may worship and serve only You.

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