Thursday, December 19, 2013

In the Face of Temptation

Breaking Free.  A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied.
Day 4
Bible passages Matthew 4:1-11, Psalm 63:1-5

Scripture has plenty to offer us in the way of stories about temptation.  I believe that similarly things like fear and a need for love, it is an area that God knows we need a lot of direction.  In His word we can see the results of giving into temptation.  We can learn from others mistakes and as we read we are like the man sitting in his chair yelling at the quarterback on TV that there is a man open just down the field.  It’s always easier to see the opening from the outside looking in.  Escape isn’t the only defense we have though when it comes to temptation.  Jesus, after being baptized by John the Baptist was led by the Holy Spirit out into the desert for the specific purpose of being tempted by Satan.  I am baffled at this, for all the times I have struggled with temptation; Jesus is knowingly headed right into it!  But as I look at this today, with fresh perspective I don’t think He did this to show that it is wise to walk headlong into temptation, but to very clearly show us how to deal with it.  

What do I do when I am tempted?  Lately I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not even been aware enough to see it as temptation.  I haven’t even been able to identify it as such.  I cannot say that any more.  The trouble with a study like this or a conviction like this is that you can no longer play dumb.  You and God both know you are well aware of your struggle.  Now what are you going to do about it? 

I clearly don’t hunger for the Word.  I could make you a list of the things I do hunger for or the things I miss when I don’t get them or as much of them as I would like when I want them….you get my point.  How do I get to the point of wanting to be with God above all else?  Am I so stubborn that I have to try everything else first?  When I want something sweet and I choose to sit with my Bible instead will I be satisfied?  My brain says that is exactly what His Word has been teaching me all along, but my emotions say, “but you still want the cake too right?!” 

The problem is I have never put this to the test.  What would my day look like if I actually did this?  Are we not to test God’s goodness (Malachi 3:10).  He has offered up himself to be the very thing we need, to lavish on us every good thing.  I am tired of living my life this way, without satisfaction and feeling empty despite my attempts to fill myself up.   

At every turn when Jesus was tempted he used scripture to drive Satan back.  And though Satan would get back up and try again Jesus would not give way to the temptation.  He could have just left.  He could have just called for a company of angels to rescue him and call it a day, but he stuck around and showed us how it’s done.  When in the face of temptation, rebuke it with the HOLY, NEVER CHANGING, LIFE GIVING, POWERFUL, TEMPTATION CRUSHING WORD OF GOD!
My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.

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