Handling temptation (1)
“When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out.” 1Co 10:13 NIV
Jesus said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers” (Lk 10:30 NIV). Jerusalem represented the place of God’s favor, whereas Jericho was cursed by Joshua when God leveled its walls (See Jos 6:26). The road connecting the two cities was teeming with robbers, so was this man’s intention to travel part of the way, then get off? The Bible doesn’t say, but one thing we do know is God goes to great lengths to keep us from going down the road to temptation and getting hurt. And even with all His safeguards in place, we still manage to get into trouble. First, you stop listening to the promptings of His Spirit. Second, you’re unwilling to pray about certain desires with a submitted heart. Third, you’re not interested in talking to a trusted friend who will hold you accountable. Fourth, you don’t want to know what the Bible says about the matter. You have unilaterally decided to quench the Spirit so you can indulge your fleshly impulses. Remember, there is always free food on the end of a fishhook, but while temptation promises freedom, it ends up costing you. David’s affair wrecked his family. Real freedom isn’t about having the liberty to gratify your every appetite; it’s about refusing to become a slave to unhealthy desires. The battle against temptation is noble, but if all you do is struggle to repress your desires, eventually they will wear you down. You need to maintain a clear mental image of the kind of person God wants you to be and cooperate with His Spirit to become that person.