Monday, June 17, 2013

Overcoming Temptation

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  –I Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)

I heard a story about a little boy whose mother told him not to eat any cookies because it was so close to supper.  A little while later, she walked into the kitchen and found the boy on the counter with his hand in the cookie jar.  She said, “What are you doing?”  The boy replied, “Resisting temptation!”  That, my friends, is complete surrender, not resistance.  We laugh at such a story and rightly so, yet the issue of standing firm in the face of temptations that can derail our lives is no laughing matter.  As Christ’s followers, we have a mandate from the Lord to live lives characterized by godliness, integrity, honestly, and righteousness.  This is a tall order, I know, yet the Lord has promised to give us spiritual power to resist the temptations which so easily ensnare us.

Each day we are tempted to do something that goes against our Christian convictions.  The temptations might involve vengeful thoughts or hateful attitudes, yet they might also be the temptation to engage in a behavior or act that has the potential to ruin our lives.  How many people have lost all that is important to them because they surrendered to some temptation?  We cannot know, for the numbers are too many to count.  God calls us to stand firm and keep walking forward and He has promised to give us strength and power to do so.  Some of you will remember comedian Flip Wilson and his alter ego Geraldine, whose was known for the line, “The devil made me do it!”

In reality, the devil never made anyone do anything.  He simply provides the occasion.  We are the ones who fall into the trap.  No matter what temptations you are facing, know that the Lord will provide a way out as He has promised.  Prayer, God’s Word, fellowship with other believers, and abiding faith in Christ are our best defenses for overcoming the temptations we face.  In Christ there is victory.  Claim the victory and walk forward in it today.  With each victory comes continued resolve and growing faith.  Keep your spiritual armor on and intact (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Victory in Christ, not defeat, is just ahead.

God bless you today.