Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Resisting Temptation

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Before reading today’s eDevotion, take a minute or two to read Genesis 39.1-20. It’s about Joseph’s encounter with temptation and how he handled it. 

Finished? Good, let's begin.

Oscar Wilde, the famous playwright, said, "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it." Many people handle temptation that way, they just give in to it. The account of Joseph is a model for us to follow in dealing with temptation. In his case, it was a recurring temptation of sexual sin [39.7, 10].

Rather than giving in, Joseph resisted. In fact, he ran away from it. I see three things in his behavior that will help anyone in their battle with temptation. 

1. Develop strong convictions. Joseph was loyal to his employer and would do nothing to violate or hurt him. And beyond that, he had unquestionable loyalty to God. Did you see that in verse 9? “No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Your conviction not to sin against another person, especially God, is a great weapon against temptation.

2. Shut the door. Even in the face of recurring temptation, Joseph “refused to go to bed with her or even be with her" (v. 10). Joseph shut the door. He wouldn’t even hang around her to be exposed to the temptation. How about this —The next time you’re watching a movie and it’s harmful in some way, walk out of the theater or turn off the TV. Shut the door. The next time someone spews gossip, or impugns the character of another, leave the conversation. Shut the door. This is where we can pray, “Lord, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the Evil One. Help me keep the door shut.”

3. Act immediately. As soon as the temptation came, Joseph said NO right away — and every day after that, as a matter of fact. He developed a pattern of refusal, so much so that when NO was not enough, he ran out of the house. He didn’t worry about being rude. He didn’t even hang around to be a witness. Had Joseph lived in New Testament times, he would have been an example of Paul’s admonition to “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” [2 Timothy 2.22].

When confronted with temptation, let’s not give in to our fleshly desires. Instead, let’s resist and fulfill our role as people of God, set apart for the Lord.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10.13

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