Posted by: Diane | June 18, 2013

A World Full Of Temptations

A friend recently slumped into a nearby chair and said,  “It’s been a really hard day and I feel completely defeated.” Quoting someone else, she continued, “Opportunity only knocks once but temptation leans on the doorbell.” Temptation just doesn’t let up, does it?”

No, it doesn’t…and everybody bumps into it.

On Sunday, our pastor was preaching from 1 Peter 5. 8-14 and he reminded us that the Evil One has a target on those who are Christians.  He reminded us to keep our heads up and prepare for what’s coming because temptation is always lurking around the corner. Then he asked this question:

Do you know what you’re opposed to? 

…and I would add, “and do you know why you are opposed to it?”

So, I’ve been thinking about those questions for a couple of days.

I desire to resist that which dishonors God but I often fall short.

It’s difficult to say no to all that flirts with my senses.  It’s difficult to choose the “long term” focus on life when all that feels, smells, tastes, sounds and looks good constantly smacks me in the here and now. It requires constant and consistent self discipline that often puts me in a place where I am ridiculed, misunderstood and/or rejected.

Resisting temptation is definitely counter-intuitive.

I’ve learned that the energy and focus it takes to resist can not simply be conjured up on demand – it’s not about will power. Victorious resistance is the result of acknowledging my sin and choosing to practice the presence of God in my day-to-day life. ] Resistance is about being empowered by His life-giving Word and strengthened by His anointing Spirit “against (my) enemy the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5.8)

I want to be on guard.

Resisting temptation takes prayer and intention.  Little changes that lead to different decisions can make a significant impact. Slow progress is better than no progress. We get better with practice and life certainly gives us plenty of opportunities to practice….one temptation at a time.

Ed Cole once said, ‘The ability to resist temptation is directly proportionate to your submission to God.” 

He must become greater. I must become less. John 3.30

Watch and pray; that you enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26.41


Responses

  1. So good! This one made the rounds. Interestingly my husband made the same “doorbell” analogy yesterday morning too! This part resonated with me: ‘-it’s not about will power. Victorious resistance ( love that- victorious resistance!) is acknowledging my sin and CHOOSING ( the will power part) to practice the presence of God in my day-to-day life.’ Makes so much sense and should be so easy, especially if you follow Jesus. But the hard part is recognizing theses ‘sins’. Some are so neutral and acceptable by the world’s view that we can go a lifetime being controlled by them. I’ve noticed, in my own life, that these sins are rooted in selfishness stemming from pride. And yes, these seem so sensory pleasing. Knowing God’s word and deep prayer (while taking time to let the Holy Spirit penetrate my deepest layers) and hearing His conviction are the only ways to disengage that persistent doorbell ringing. Thanks, again, Diane for your insightful perspective.


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