“When you are tempted, God will show you a way out.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
“Temptation comes when you are not where you ought to be, desiring things not yours to have.”
My thoughts today are about “temptations.”
Everyday life is filled with temptations. You deny or ignore that fact to your own harm. You can’t successfully avoid all temptation, so you must be prepared to deal with it. Sometimes it comes in the disguise of curiosity and at other times you will feel strongly tempted. There are really two elements to every temptation. The obvious element is the temptation to do what you know is wrong for you – that may merely be something unkind, or unwise, or unhealthy, or unholy. That is usually where people choose to fight their battle with temptation, and why they too often lose.
I would suggest that the more important element of any temptation is the choice to do right, even when at that moment you would rather do wrong. This is where the battle over temptation is won or lost. Is your commitment and motivation to do what’s right greater than your temporary desire to do what’s pleasurable and convenient, but wrong? Whichever passion you feed will grow stronger while the other grows weaker through neglect. Temptation does not merely touch your activities; temptation touches your soul – impacting who you are as much as what you do.
Samson began with the greatest potential, with nothing but glorious possibilities ahead for him. But along the way he lost his way. He lived by his impulses. He misused his gift. He was blind to his weaknesses. He forgot who he was and what he was to become. He indulged his temptations, and suffered greatly as a result. Read Judges 13-16. God’s law is for yours and others’ protection and benefit. Impulses are momentary but their effects can be long lasting. Channel and check them. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation . . each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” James 1:12-15 NKJV.
David faced temptation and failed terribly. The sad chapter of his life involving Bathsheba is well known. “Then it happened . . at the time when kings go out to battle . . but David stayed in Jerusalem, ” is how the Bible introduces David’s temptation. 2 Samuel 11:2-5 NAS. Does temptation just happen, or do poor choices put you in that vulnerable place? It may be an oversimplification but temptation usually comes when you are not where you ought to be and desiring something not yours to have – without quickly turning to God to resist in His strength. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NIV. See Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV.
Weaknesses can be blind spots that if ignored become the arena for failure and loss. Everybody has them. Don’t ignore yours or remain oblivious to them. By trusting and obeying God there, you can turn them into strengths. When tempted hold fast to God’s strong promise, “And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, God will show you a way out so you will not give in to it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NLT.
My prayer for you today is that you lean heavily upon the Lord at all times.