“Opportunity knocks… but temptation bangs on the door forever!”
This statement came through on an email the other day. Pretty spot on, eh?
If we are alive on planet earth, temptation is something we struggle with everyday. The temptation doesn’t have to be huge… it can be quite simple.
- I’m tempted to sleep rather than get up and spend time with God
- I’m tempted to carb-load while trying to follow Atkins
- I’m tempted to play on Facebook rather than write
- I’m tempted to speed on certain streets because the posted speed seems more of a mere suggestion and a bit ridiculous
But sometimes temptation can be set-up on an epic scale. And we know who is to blame.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
The scripture is telling us that we are ALL facing temptation from the Evil One.
The remedy? Be self-controlled and alert… watching for temptation. When we become lazy and comfortable… when we think we are strong enough to go it alone or dabble where we shouldn’t be dabbling… when we walk away from what we know is right… bam!
He strikes. I’ve seen it a hundred times (including in my own life).
But ultimately God has us covered. He provides… a way.
Scripture tells us that God is our Shepherd and we are his sheep. When we stick close to the shepherd, we are protected. But when a sheep strays from the flock… the lion pounces. We’re too far away from protection of the flock or the Shepherd. The lion is swift and efficient.
That visual sends chills down my spine. I wonder if you are setting yourself up?
- Are you pulling away from your Christian circles?
- Are you taking the summer off from being in the Word regularly?
- Do you feel better going it alone right now?
The lion is watching.
But remember that the Shepherd – who has been tempted Himself by the lion so understands what we are dealing with – will restore you to the flock.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
The lion is laying in wait. Press in to the Shepherd.