Tuesday, July 3, 2012

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” James 1:13-14

Barrels overflowed with sweet treats just begging us to indulge. Wandering around the hotel we were staying at for a baseball tournament, the lure of the sugary haven drew us in. Barrel upon barrel was filled to the brim with a variety of candy heaven. It was as if every container was begging us to grab a handful and scoop it into the baskets provided for sugar addicts to overdose upon. Sold by weight, the tempting morsels could add up quickly.

As we browsed through the store, I thought to myself, this will really blow all the progress I’ve been making with my pretty healthy eating plan and exercise commitment. Is it worth it for a few sweet treats? My desire for my health won out and I spend the rest of the time just meandering and reminiscing over the candies from my childhood that had resurfaced in the store.

As I was lingering, I felt a nudge in my spirit. Isn’t this sometimes how we approach things in our lives? We are lured in by the tempting sweetness of life’s pleasures, only to realize later that we are left worse off than before.
  • Relationships we know aren’t good for us
  • The temporary high of retaliation
  • Justifying choices and behaviors that are accepted in the mainstream world
It is not easy to choose the higher road. The path of righteousness that we as believers are called to follow. But, the good news is, we are not supposed to go it alone. We, in our own strength, are not equipped for that journey. Our call, our privilege, is to walk hand in hand with the God of the universe. 

How can anything be too much for us if we really stop and think about who it is we are able to go through this life with? He made it all and He will never allow us to be in a situation that we cannot handle, if we remain closely tied to Him.

It is a struggle, don’t get me wrong. The temptations and lures of this world grab, tug and pull at us from all directions. James tells us about the sin that lives within each of us and how, if let out and left unchecked, can grow and become death.  The enemy uses our inner sinful desires to try and draw us off course. But we, who have the Holy Spirit in us, are empowered to do battle against the rages of this world and the enemy.

It may not be easy, but we are equipped and are not alone.

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