Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Temptation: Just Turn and Run to God

Daddy is tenderly transforming me to the image of Christ.  In yielding to His delicate works in me, the patriarchs have often crossed my mind.  For example, I've always admired how Joseph never allowed pride or vanity to interfere with his obedience to God.

Think about it; Joseph was good looking, and he had a fine physique.  He was righteous and intelligent and - to say the least - administratively gifted. He carried God's anointing in authority and strength, despite his life's early predicaments due to the jealousy of his older brothers. Even though he had it all, he didn't let it go to his head, even in the face of temptation.  I can't say the same.

It's taken many years for me to see the value of a simple tactic, seemingly born in Joseph, to combat sin and its destructive intents:  Run Away!

That's more than a funny phrase familiar to fans of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (dating myself, I know); it's actually a humble, holy, truism that - when employed by the believer through the power of Holy Spirit - will change and utterly defeat the enemy's plans to levy disaster upon our lives.

I'm not talking about fearing the enemy, I'm talking about recognizing his darts and resisting him forthrightly by removing ourselves from the scene of seduction in every way possible and running to God. Taking prayerful authority over temptation's entrapments is also a way of turning from the mouth of the toothless lion and his fond acquaintance with the flesh.  We stand in God in all kinds of ways and, lately, God's been reminding me of this valuable resource whenever I'm tempted.  I'm setting my heart on applying it to all areas of sin in my life - not just the "obvious" ones.  Know what I mean?

For instance, I'm grateful God delivered me from the sin of masturbation, but I still struggle with sins regarding my speech, unforgiveness, and offense.  The blatancy of sin isn't ascribed as readily to those latter items as it is to the M-word, is it?  Not on man's scales of transgression, anyway.  However, God's eyes see hatred and murder on the same level of darkness, according to scripture...
"Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15)
So those sins of unclean speech, unforgiveness, and offense are separators from God every bit as deadly to me as sexual immorality.  I mustn't only turn my back on thoughts of impurity, Saints; I must also be willing to give self-talk and wicked, hurtful accusation over to the Lord, and turn away from the enemy's temptings to digest and regurgitate scorn.

Holy Spirit spoke to my heart so sweetly during a recent time of struggle-turned-victory; He simply said, 

"Just run, beloved.  Run from sin the way Joseph ran from Potiphar's wife!" and it registered with me, friends, because I ran right into Daddy's powerful Arms, and He thanked me for it... for being obedient to Holy Spirit's entreaties.  That loving, enlightening exchange spoke to my heart in ways it never had before in terms of realizing the authority I have in Christ and utilizing the critical, faithful "way of escape" Jesus made for me.
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13)
Joseph didn't try to be cool or nonchalant in the face of Mrs. Potiphar's wanton advances; besides, there was no time for that!  Wisely, he ran like a banshee from her hot-and-heavy pursuit, to the point of leaving his own garment behind!

So should I.  So should we.

Don't fear the enemy... but recognize and resist him.  When temptation to sin hits you hot-and-heavily, don't play it cool and give opportunity to its acquaintance with your flesh.  In Christ's Name, take authority over the devil's rantings, and don't be too proud to simply turn and run to God.  It enabled Joseph to keep his righteous name.  It will enable us to do the same.

Grateful for His ways of escape,
Daddy's Girl

"...fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)