WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS WHEN TEMPTATIONS COME?
The agony of choice. This is something that many people are afflicted with in the world today. We want to look at it with respect to living out our faith. Should I sleep with my boyfriend? Should I move in with him? Should I have an abortion? Should I steal my company’s money to buy a new car? Should I lie to my spouse that I’m going to visit my girlfriend while I’m trying to have some alone time with this new guy I met at work? Should I talk my colleague into doing a shoddy job so that she can get fired because I’m jealous of her? The questions in our hearts are unending.
Choices, choices. There are so many things we could do, would love to do. But many of them are wrong. Even when we have become Christians, reading our Bibles, praying, fellowshipping with other believers, the stream of alluring thoughts keeps flowing. It is called temptation. It’s actually an attack, although it might seem so benign and fascinating. The Bible says it leads to sin which in turn leads to death if unchecked.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” – James 1:14-15 (ESV)
But the good news for you, child of God, is that God has made these things a lot easier for you than for the person who hasn’t surrendered his life to Him. You don’t have to suffer the agony of choice when temptations come. You don’t have to spend sleepless nights weighing all the options because the truth is, if you actually allow Jesus to be your Lord, there are no options. There isn’t a wide range of alternatives to choose from. There is only the right. Living for Christ means committing yourself to doing the right always.There are not many choices to make when temptations come. There's only the right. Click To Tweet
I wrote a song about this years ago titled, “No option”. The refrain went as follows:
There’s no option than the right
There’s no option than the right
For us as saints it’s sorted out
There’s no option than the right.
God’s grace is available to help us live right as Titus 2:11-13 shows. All we need is to fill our hearts with the word of God for renewal of our minds and direction. The world makes us feel it’s not cool to live the way we do, it makes us feel we are missing out on so much excitement and pleasure. But believe me, what we are missing is mostly filthiness, heartache and disappointment.
Temptation glamorises sin but after the deed is done, what is usually left is regret and emptiness. The latter leads to endless repeat performances in search of elusive fulfilment. We don’t need to learn from experience that sin is deadly. We can see it in the Bible and the lives of people around us who are trapped by alcohol, hard drugs, sex, etc. Many of these addicts started by choice until they were overpowered by sin.
“… be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2Be not conformed to the world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. - Romans 12:2 Click To Tweet
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105
“9. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word 11. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” – Psalm 119:9, 11
Don’t negotiate with the devil or anyone he’s working through in any situation. Negotiation inevitably leads to compromise. You can’t reason out a safe or harmless way to commit sin. “Flee” is what the Bible says to do (1 Corinthians 6:18, 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:9-11; 2 Timothy 2:22) because at the end of the day, child of God, there are no options for you than the right.Don't negotiate with the devil. Negotiation inevitably leads to compromise. Click To Tweet
Prayer is good also for building resistance to sin but you do that before the pressure comes or after fleeing. Don’t stay with evil, looking at its many tantalising forms and features (if you can get away) and say you’re praying to avoid it. You are human and vulnerable, never forget.You can't reason out a safe or harmless way to commit sin. Click To Tweet
Almighty God, I want to thank You for simplifying my walk with You by clearly showing me in Your word how to live and that there is no benefit whatsoever to be gained from sin. Thank You for removing the choices that would have confused me. My only choice is to do right, to live in a way that honours You. Deliver me from every thought of playing with sin, of choosing between the many tempting options the devil presents. Help me to appropriate Your grace each day and live in victory over sin in Jesus’ name.
The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
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