February 28, 2012
"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)
"I'm just having a good time," she said. "What's wrong with it?"
I wish I could have put a movie in her hands, one that would reveal one week, one month, five years down the road.
Somehow my friend couldn't see what others noticed so easily. That the intentional choices she was making were going to lead her on a path of destruction. She said it felt good. She said it made her feel things she hadn't felt in a long time.
But it was also making her ordinary life, the life that she would miss one day when it was no longer hers, feel like a burden. Things she once treasured were overshadowed, and eventually shattered.
Have you ever been tempted and felt justified in giving way to it?
To flirt. What is the harm?
To share private thoughts. No one listens to me at home.
To take a risk. No one will find out.
I remember a time that I lay beside my husband. He was unhappy at work and the unhappiness had changed him. Joy had slipped away and left a silent partner in its place.
I was tempted.
To frustration over what I could not fix.
My negative emotions simmered. But I knew, if left to themselves, they could take my heart to a place of discontentment. I'd seen the results of allowing temptation to grow, and I knew something had to change. That night I wrapped my arms around my sleeping husband and prayed for him. Then I prayed for me. "Father, change my heart. Give me compassion. Help me to love him through this difficult time. Show me what to do."
Maybe, like me, you might look at a friend who has given in to temptation and say, "That would never happen to me."
But we are no different. No one is immune from temptation. To think that way is to forget who tempts us, and why.
Satan desires to harm not just us, but those we love. It is often only after we sit in devastation that we recognize the enemy was leading us away from all that matters most.
The good news is - we are offered a way out.
The night I lay beside my husband, God led me to Himself. To prayer. And that prayer led to hope. Eventually my husband and I took a step. . .together. In the process the man I loved, had always loved, returned and our marriage re-ignited.
Are you in the crossroads of temptation today?
Stop. There's a different choice and a different path you can take.
Dear Lord, today I offer up my feelings to You. I pray for my marriage, for Your best for my spouse and for my family. Last, I pray for me. Help me to follow You and not temptation. Thank You for a way out. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Jesus, the One who can set you free?
Want to bring the message of this devotion to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Suzie Eller as your next event speaker.
When a Woman Meets Jesus: Finding the Love Every Woman Longs For by Dorothy Valcarcel.
Visit Suzie's blog for a downloadable "Way Out" PDF file for scriptural truth to trust in during temptation. Also, join Suzie in her "Live Free” Facebook community to find daily encouragement on how to live free.
Reflect and Respond:
We don't like it when someone lies to us, but how often do we lie to ourselves? Today, be truthful with temptation. Unmask it! How will giving into temptation hurt those you love? How will it hurt you? Where is the enemy trying to lead you?
Write a prayer and keep it close. Often, temptation can cloud our thoughts. When you are tempted, read your prayer out loud and invite God into the battle.
Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." (NIV)
2nd Corinthians 5:21, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (NIV)
© 2012 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 28 February 2012.