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Temptation: Can't You Handle It?

Posted on January 20, 2012


As a five year old, I'd run to my father when a certain 11 year old bully would pick on me. My reliance on Dad would dispel my fears. As long as I was in my Father's presence, although weak compared to the bully, I was safe and empowered through him.  

 

I once tried to take care of the bully myself to prove myself to him and to me. A mistake. That got me roughed up and mocked. He was too big and powerful for me. But he was no match for Dad. The same holds true when we turn to our heavenly Dad when temptation strikes. But we keep having to learn we're no match for the ultimate bully - Satan.  

 

Of course, there is a distinct difference between how the neighborhood bully threatened me and how temptation works. Temptation usually seduces rather to appear threatening. But the way of escape is identical (I Corinthians 10:13)  

 

Satan's strategy of seduction catches us in our weakness. It's like how countries use spies in the form of gorgeous women operatives to seduce government employees in order to obtain secrets. A guy's ego and the lure of eroticism seduce him into the trap of his country's enemy.  

 

A man can easily fall into the trap of thinking there is nothing lastingly harmful with a little sampling of internet porn or a sexually teasing conversation with an attractive co-worker?  

 

The strategy of seduction hints to me that since all my pals are into materialistic indulgences -- the purchase through debt of whatever entices at the moment -- why should I deny myself. But lurking in the shadows is the gradual replacement of my intimacy with God with things I'll quickly grow tired of. And will I not need a new consumption fix soon again?  

 

As a kid, It didn't take much for me to learn to run to Dad's protection from the bully. But it is another matter to train myself to rush head-long into the arms of God upon the presence of temptation. The key: My intimacy with Him has to grow in order to learn quick warning signals of when I need to rush without a second's delay into his protection. My natural inclination is to handle the temptation in my own power. Wrong! As with the bully, I'll lose every time.  

 

And when temptation does strike, as I embrace God, I know the Devil will flee; but will return again and again (James 4:7). In weakness, I stand my ground against Him, in the power of God. I learned that the bully would kick my butt in my own strength, but not in the strength of my Father...and today, if not in the strength of my heavenly Father. Men who win, humbly submit daily to God. There - we safe and empowered through Him.

 

 

By Gary Chester Morse (1945-2010)   


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