Who really has authority and power in this world? While fasting in the desert, the Devil told Jesus that the authority of this world was his and he could give it to anyone he wished. All Jesus had to do was subjugate himself and worship Satan. To this Jesus (at least in Matthew) grows angry and demands he leaves and reminds him that it only the Lord God that we are to worship and he alone shall we serve. Curiously, I’ve often wondered if Satan really believed he controlled this world, or that it was just a trick, a slight of hand to obstruct Jesus true power. When I look at dictators throughout history who appeared to have control of their respective kingdoms along with the allegiance and worship of their people, their power was always rooted in fear, was transient, and their people always fickle. Selling one’s soul to the Devil for the illusion of power will never really make one powerful. Control over someone isn’t necessarily power over them. No one can take our power without our permission. The Devil can’t give away what never belonged to him in the first place: our free will. Shackles may contain us physically, but the spirit never. Jesus knew this, which is why he knew he could command the Devil to leave.
When I look back over my life, the thought of having some form of a kingdom never appealed to me. I don’t really want that. But there were plenty of times that I felt controlled by someone or some circumstance. In hindsight, I realized that I simply allowed myself to believe the illusion that I was powerless. I later understood that at any time, I could have simply said no and relied on what Jesus said…we get our power from God and serve him alone. But hindsight is 20/20. So, while I can’t change the past, I can change the future. I need not convince anyone that the power they think they have over me is an illusion. I’m the only one who needs to know and believe that they don’t. That is the way to break the bond of power. When that person realizes they can’t control your spirit after all, like the Devil did, they leave…perhaps not without some damage, but that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right?
People who desire to rule over others, generally choose those who feel powerless to begin with. Feeling powerless opens the door to being seduced by someone who will promise you anything, all for the exchange of your soul. A hefty price to pay for an illusion. When you build a source of inner strength, you stop attracting those kinds of people and situations. You attract those who will empower you and be empowered by you.