“Thud , thud, thud.”
“Hold on, I will be right there!”
You open your front door. There he stands, dressed to impress. With one hand against your door frame, leaning in and hovering over you possessively. You have grown accustomed to his regular visits, dreading every single one.
“I don’t have time for this today. Please, go away!”
“Wait, don’t close the door. You know you want to go out with me! I have an exciting evening planned for us. It won’t be anything like last time. I will take you home as soon as you want to come home. I promise…”
Something in his tone makes you stop. You know for a fact that he is no good and that he is lying, but there is still part of you that wants to run out the front door with him and just have some fun. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt this time…wait, no! Stop, get rid of him now, or it will be too late!
“NO! I said go away! Just leave me alone. It’s over between us!”
You step into your defensive mode, anticipating the coming fight. He’s not going to get his way this time.
“Step away from the door or….or else!”
He just smiles with those wicked eyes. He knows you better than you think. If there is one thing at which he is so very good, it is being persistent. He just never gives up.
“Oh, I am in no hurry, honey. I have all the time in the world. Because I know sooner or later, you are going to give-in.”
There you stand at the door of your house facing this unwanted caller face-to-face. He has a name. His name is Temptation.
Tonight is like every other time Temptation has come to call. He wants to know if you want to go out on the scene for a few laughs. He says it’s not serious, but you know better. You have experienced the pain that is involved with going out with him. It always starts as fun, but ends with you standing at your door feeling sick and used.
Temptation is enticing us to date him. He is a persistent suitor. It doesn’t matter how many times you have told him “No”, he just keeps coming back for more. You’ve tried to be rude and blow-him-off. You have tried ignoring him. You have even threatened to put up a fight. But there he stands at your door again, and this time you feel less like fighting and more like giving-in.
Sometimes in life this is how temptation can feel to us. We try so hard not to give-in, but in the end we keep going back to it – like a very bad boyfriend. We all experience different temptations, but regardless the type the experience is the same.
Losing the Desire
While driving down the highway last night, I saw an upcoming sermon message on a church sign that read, “Dealing with Temptation’. I started thinking about that phrase and the thought came to me, should we actually be ‘dealing’ with temptation? And what does that mean?
I recently made a discovery that has changed the way I look at temptation. The other day, I sat down to watch a movie that I really used to enjoy. Now this movie is not what some would label a bad movie, but it was one that I never had felt the best about watching. As I sat there gazing at the screen, I was surprised to realize that I actually found myself trying to enjoy it – I had lost the desire to sit there and watch this movie.
I started to look back over my life seeing other things I had desired that I had tried so hard to ‘deal’ with, but they no longer have any appeal to me. Why? What happened to change me? (I know without a doubt that it wasn’t my amazing discipline or deep wisdom that changed me.) And then it hit me…
Imagine with me for a moment that you are married to the most amazing, sensitive, handsome & wealthy man in the world, who loves you beyond what you could think or imagine. Got it? Can you picture that? Okay, let’s move on…
Let’s say you are at home on a particular evening, enjoying every moment that you can with this man. You hear a sudden knock on the door. Grudgingly pulling yourself away from your husband, you head for the door.
You open the door. “Hello?”
Before you stands the filthiest & ugliest man you have ever seen in your life, covered in rags.
“Uhm, c-can I help you?” You say while trying hard not to choke on the stench coming from his direction.
Flashing you a semi-toothless grin, he says,“Yes. Yes, you can. I am here to ask you on a date. Wanna go out with me tonight, babe? We’re gonna have a lot of fun!”
Okay ladies, I want you to think long and hard about this tempting offer. I know this is a tough choice…Do you go out with this flea-ridden excuse of a man or do you stay with the one who loves you, the one you can hardly bear to take your eyes off?
“Let me think…NO!”
If you have any sense at all you will slam the front door and run as quickly as you can back into the arms of your husband – safe, secure and loved.
That my friends, is what is happening to temptation. There is someone new in town who is taking this cad’s place – Our beautiful Jesus.
Nothing Else Compares
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him. (Philippians 3:8 NLT)
As a born-again believer, we have someone who loves us unconditionally, who has given us all things freely, who has already laid down His life for ours. Why in the world would we want or be tempted by anything else?
When we realize who lives with and in us, temptation starts to lose its appeal. Just like that man left standing at the door, he cannot offer you something you already have.
So, here is how we ‘deal’ with temptation. Spend time with your Jesus, and learn how much He truly loves you. When you can only grasp a little of how your Father feels towards you, temptation will lose its flavor. You will only have eyes for Jesus.
Next time temptation decides to come courting, don’t start panicking and trying to get rid of him by force. Hold that puny temptation to the beauty of God’s love for you, and temptation will be left standing in the rain, without a date.