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Handling temptation (1)

12 August 2023 ‘When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out.’ 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

Jesus said, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers’ (Luke 10:30 NIV). Jerusalem represented the place of God’s favour, whereas Jericho was cursed by Joshua when God destroyed its walls (see Joshua 6:26). The road connecting the two cities was full of 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, we stop listening to the promptings of His Spirit. Second, we’re unwilling to pray about certain wrong desires with a heart that’s submitted to God. Third, we’re not interested in talking to a trusted friend who would be willing to help us. Fourth, we don’t want to know what the Bible says about temptation. When we’re tempted and begin to take that first step to acting on our feelings, what we’ve done is decided to quench the Spirit so we can indulge our fleshly natures. Temptation always comes at a price, and it’ll end up costing us in the long run. Real freedom isn’t about being able to gratify every feeling, impulse, and appetite; it’s about refusing to become a slave to unhealthy desires. The battle against temptation is noble, but if all we do is struggle to repress our desires, eventually they’ll wear us down. So we need to hold on to a clear mental image of the kind of people God wants us to be and cooperate with His Spirit to become who He intends us to be.

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