Tuesday, February 23, 2010
When Temptation Strikes
In you. If you have received Him, He’s actually there you know, fully capable, ready to show Himself perfect in and through you. How cool is that?
It’s an amazing act of faith to offer myself to God, who now lives in me, to appeal to Him and call to Him in the beginning or midst or even end of temptation. After all, He’s familiar with it: “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Heb 2:18)
Don’t be shy during temptation; there’s no need to draw away from Him in some presumed shame—it’s not from God. He is great to know during temptation! He produces in me the evidence of Himself—the fruit of the Spirit. I’m always delighted at the knowledge of His nearness, and He is glorified in me.
Whatever is tempting you just now, whether fear, lust, covetousness, envy, pride—whatever—how excellent it is to offer yourself to the Spirit. The angels must delight to see us offering our tormented selves to God. And the demons lament.
Instead of making pledges that we’ll be strong, we look to Him—and we get Him. When covetousness (for example) begins hammering away at us, we make no promises of obedient avoidance; we stay tight with our Friend. He frees us from that ugly, ungodly thing, and our friendship is deepened.
When lust or fear or disappointment rage against us, tempting us toward ugly conclusion, we move toward Him. “Savior! I know you’re in me so I look to you for your ability and grace. You’re what I need.” Lo and behold, He who now calls us home, sees to what’s going on inside of us. He who finds no fault with us—none—recognizes the assault, takes the blows and turns the fight. Afterward? We’re left with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It’s all what He is, and it’s what He produces inside you and me. It’s God Himself showing off in you and me.
When temptation strikes at you, don’t go it alone. Go to Him, and He’ll see to you.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Rom 6:11-14, italics mine)