Sunday, May 29, 2016

Is that really a temptation?

Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward. (I Corinthians 10:13 VOICE)

Temptation is something we all deal with - no matter how much we think we have overcome some particular thing, we occasionally find ourselves being tempted again in that area.  I think it is Satan's way of trying to tell God we haven't "really" overcome in that area - like he taunts us to prove we are not as "far ahead" in our right-living as we might want to think we are.  He never "let up" with Jesus - what makes us think he'd be willing to let up on his resistance of us moving forward in this life with Jesus?

Temptation isn't always something we have control over - we can find ourselves in situations where we are tempted without even knowing we were headed into it.  Most of the time, we set up well planned stages of resistance to any temptation which is "common" to us.  Let me assure you of this - Satan not only knows what is "common" to us - those things which will trip us quicker than anything else - he also knows how he can catch us off-guard by coming at us in ways we never really knew to plan for in our resistance planning!  It isn't that he is "all-knowing", he just knows all the tactics in the book!

I saw something this morning as I was re-reading this passage which I wanted to bring to your attention today.  Most of us can quote this passage about God not letting us be tempted beyond what we can handle or endure.  Even the part about finding a way of escape because he will provide it probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to those who have heard this passage.  The thing which caught my attention was the idea of temptation being what "holds us back" or keeps us from moving forward.  

You see, temptation is like a weight around our ankles, just holding us back, acting as an impediment to our forward progress.  If we think of it that way, then the things in life not necessarily "put there" by Satan as a tripping up point also have the capability of being considered temptations.  For example, if the computer screen and all the things we can behold on it keep us from interacting with a loved one, developing lasting and meaningful relationships, or taking enough time to get alone with Jesus to actually hear from him about our lives, then it is a temptation for us.  Unless I am wrong, Satan didn't buy us that computer!  He simply enjoys the distraction it places in our lives because it keeps us from being a bother to him!

I'd like to challenge each of us today to consider what it is in our lives which keeps us from making forward progress.  It may not be easily recognizable at first, but we may just find that some of the ordinary stuff of life acts as "temptation" to us - not really getting us to "do wrong", but keeping us from taking forward steps into "doing what is right", nonetheless.  Just considerin!