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Door Ajar

"One thing about temptation -- you can be sure it will give you another chance," (Country, Aug/Sept. 1988 issue).

All of us are tempted at one time or another to do or say something that we know would not please the Lord. Following our enemy's red herrings is the common lot of man. (I Corinthians 10:13 NIV). Everone listens to his honeyed words sometimes. If we could do or say anything we wanted without censure, we would not need to trust in God. "Satan . . . tempts us in order to make us lose . . . the possibility of being of value to God," (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Dodd, Mead & Co.: New York, 1935, p. 262). Since we all sense Satan's bewitchments, we need to know how to deal with them.

Temptations come to us when we are tired. Overwork with little rest leaves us open to Satan's ravages on our emotions and desires. We each need enough rest to function efficiently. Not getting adequate sleep depletes our reserves of physical strength, mental energy and emotional resilience. Overtireing ourselves by accepting work assignments beyond our ability or emotional strength is opening the door for a failure. It is not wrong to decline another assignment when we already have a work overload -- in fact, it is wise.

We need all our strength to resist the suggestions and plans of the enemy of our souls. Even when we are physically or emotionally drained, our Lord tells us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," (II Corinthians 12:9). When, in our tiredness, we bring our temptations to the Lord in prayer, He renews our energy (Isaiah 40:30,31) and freshens our resolve to live for him and serve Him. He will help us find a more workable schedule when we ask.

It is also when we are encountering some particular trial that we are more vulnerable. When a mate has asked for a divorce, when we're hopitalized and there's no one to take care of the children, when the insurance won't cover the accident -- that's when it's easy to just throw in the towel and give in to whatever temptation may raise its head. Let's be on guard in these times of stress so we don't succumb in defeat. "The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials. . . ." (II Peter 2:9).

We need not fear the trials we face. All Christian men and women have them. Adversities may sap our reserves of physical and emotional energy, but when we trust the Lord in the middle of them, we can be sure that, in His time, He "will rescue (us) from every evil attack and will bring (us) safely to his heavenly kingdom," (II Timothy 4:18). Sometimes victory is a process. Reading God's Word and praying about our situation often throughout the day will help to strengthen our determination to please God in the way we live and speak.

We're tempted by what tugs at our personalities and our dispositions. What tempts one person may not tempt another. What gaps have I left for temptation to slip in? Have I cracked the door on desires I know are wrong? Leaving the door unlatched will make it easier for temptation to walk right in. Which door have I left ajar?


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Good thoughts as we enter this Easter Season. As you have pointed out, we do need to take care of our bodies as well our spirits. Until we enter Paradise, the two are inseperably intertwined.

lynnmosher said...

Loved this, Sylvia! I had no idea you had a blog. I've never seen it listed before. Sheesh! Where have I been? I pray I've battened down the hatches at all entries! Great post!

Sylvia said...

This post will appear in the Bindings column on the Christian Post internet site.

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