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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

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Have you ever been tempted to eat a rotten potato? I didn't think so. It seems we are only tempted with things that seem good, that we don't have, things that fill a void within us. Our modern economy thrives on temptation. The advertising industry is constantly trying new ways to entice us to buy a new car, TV, or the latest craze in electronics or fashions.

The old phrase that "All is fair in love and war" comes into play with advertisers who will stop at nothing to sell us their products. They study us to learn what makes us tick, and then they tempt us to fill that void with their products. We drive the old car to the automobile dealership and buy a new car. The old car got us there just fine, but we have to have the new one, which gets us back home no better or faster than the old one.

I could go on and talk about the closet stuffed with clothes, some with price tags still attached, that are never worn, or books on our bookshelves which are never read and so forth. Sure we like "stuff," but why are we so tempted? Maybe it goes all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when Eve was tempted by that old serpent, the devil, to eat the forbidden fruit.

What is it about us that makes us susceptible to temptation? The Bible describes sin, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life:

"For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world." 1 John 2:16 (NLT)

The enemy of our soul wants to defeat us and spoil our life by tempting us into situations that will bring us disappointment, separation from God, and death. King David, a man after God's own heart, possessed all that the world could offer him. Yet, as he gazed upon a beautiful young woman bathing, he fell prey to his human sin nature and temptation, which brought disaster.

Do the things of the world tempt you? Is there something or someone that you can't stop thinking about? If so, turn your eyes toward Jesus, and look through his eyes at the object of your desire. Is he pleased? Would he join you in acquiring this earthly pleasure, the object of your desire?

Remember that Jesus was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. The Apostle Paul summed it up for us all when he wrote,

"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 (NLT)

So when the temptation arises ... stop! Look around for that way of escape that God has provided, which leads to him.

Copyright © Gene Markland, used with permission.

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