Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Lent: Day Twenty-eight ~ Temptation

Luke 8: 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.


Lead me not into temptation. That’s a hard one to swallow. Would the Lord ever lead you INTO temptation? I don’t think so. Like I said, it's a hard one to swallow.

We live in a click me world where temptation is right at your fingertips. Temptation comes in many different colors and sizes and usually wears nothing or something enticing to lure you.

Have you ever been to the store and passed a pie that you know your healthy diet would not like you for and in the heat of the moment you bought it anyway? How about a shirt, clothes, toys, games, materials of any kind? All of these things can be very tempting.

Temptation is usually disguised in a way you don’t even know that you’re being tempted. People click things in the heat of the moment, stay fixated on that thing then keep coming back in an addiction form because it is so tempting you can’t resist.

I think of Jesus as He was tempted by satan. It was after His forty day fast; at His most vulnerable state Jesus was tempted. When satan asked Him to make bread to fill himself with, Jesus responded, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Tempted again satan asked Him to throw himself down for the Angels of God would save him and Jesus responded, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Again the devil tempted Him with the ruling of many kingdoms. And AGAIN Jesus nearly spat in the face of satan and commanded him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Satan fled and t was then that the angels came and tended to Jesus.

Do we think ourselves any stronger than Jesus when it comes to temptation? You are truly foolish if you think that. We are tempted hour by hour when we have decisions to make. I remember a time when I was without food or means to get food and I had told my mother that, “God will provide, I have faith.” In MY mind not having food was my time of temptation and I prayed for the Lord to provide for me as I fought the dark arms of satan.

I even had people tell me, “God isn’t going to provide food. You have to go out and work for it!” I held the stance that God WOULD provide for me, my faith in Him KNEW He would. Within hours bags and bags of food came through my door.  Yes, He used man to bring me food, but I was filled nonetheless. God provided. Is that what was meant by man cannot live on bread alone but from every word that comes from the mouth of God?

I rested in my faith and His word and He provided. I was tempted to go out and by any means get food, be it beg, borrow or steal, but I stood firm in my faith instead. In the depths of my hunger God filled me and I was nourished. In the bottom of the pit as I lay hungry God saw to it my mind, body and soul was fed.

From those days on Lent took on a whole new spiritual meaning to me. During Lent I deprive myself of things so that I may find the richness in God’s blessings. Deprive seems like such an ugly word. I withdrew from my daily temptations. Things I’d normally find attractive and enticing, I refrained from; a sabbatical of sorts.

Even to this day, actually more so in this day, I face many temptations. Since the computer came into my life, temptation is too easy to fall into and let it just carry me away. But I will not put God away from me. In my daily ritual to fend off satan I find prayer to be the warming link of God in me.

I found this quote: “Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.” ~ Watchman Nee

When Jesus was tempted instead of being led into temptation, I feel His prayer was the power that caused satan to go away. Satan knew Jesus and God were one in the same and he knew he had no power over God. So satan sat back and watched the persecution and death thinking he had won, little known to him it was the saving grace of mankind.

As God’s blood dripped, every man and woman present knew that He died for them; some were shocked by the realization that He WAS God in Man, and the non-believers went on about their business of the day and lived as if no man and no God could save them from their sinful death.

Behind every temptation there is a prayer feast. You cry out in hopes that your faith is not in vain. You beg for mercy and walk away from sin, or you sin and then beg for mercy. But know this, there is no man or woman alive who doesn’t walk daily with the temptation of sin by their side. It is their choice and free will to decide who wins the battle of good and evil. If God brings you to it, only He and He alone can bring you through it.

1 Cor. 10: 13 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.

1 comment:

benning said...

Amen! Temptations are all around. Resist! :)