Temptation, at times, come in such a subtle and strong way, that if we are not alert and resist it vehemently, we can very easily fall a prey to them. Temptations usually come in through doors that are delebrately been left open. And Theologian and Bible commentator Mathew Henry said, "We have no sufficient strength of our own. All our sufficiency is of God. We should stir up ourselves to resist temptations in a reliance upon God's all sufficiency and the omnipotence of His might". Our thought for reflection this morning is, "Our God is faithful and He wants us to be faithful too, in fulfilling our responsibility in overcoming temptations."
"One day he (Joseph) went into the house to attend to his duties, none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house"
Richard Sibbes says, "Satan gives Adam an apple and takes away paradise. Therefore in all temptations let us consider not what he offers but what we shall lose". Joseph knew that by yielding to the temptation that came from Potiphar's wife, he would enjoy temporary pleasure but would lose God's eternal plan for his life. We learn from Joseph two important lessons on how to handle temptations:
1. Avoid PLACE of temptation.
When Joseph faced a strong temptation in Potiphar's house, where he was performing his duties, he literally "ran out of the house" to guard his sanctity (Genesis 39: 12). Joseph did exactly what Solomon, while giving instructions on avoiding temptation said, "Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house" (Proverbs 5:8). Are we spending more time in places where we can be vulnerable to temptations or totally avoiding them?
2. Avoid PERSON or object of temptation.
When Potiphar's wife kept up the pressure and tried to force Joseph into bed by grasping his cloak, he ran from her. As Joseph did not want to sin and betray his master or his God, he ran from Potiphar's wife, who was the object of temptation. He very well knew that it was dangerous to stop or stay near Portiphar's wife and thus he ran. If he had stayed it would have been like playing with fire. Knowing very well that we are being tempted by someone, are we still spending more time with that person or keeping a distance from that person?
We should not live with false assumption that we would never fall into temptation. Apostle Paul says, "Flee the evil desires of youth..." (2 Timothy 2:22). "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12). We need to also remember that every time we overcome temptation we become more like Jesus.
"Dear Lord, give me the grace and spiritual strength to resist and run from temptations. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil one. Help me to avoid places of temptations as well as the persons who are the objects of temptations. Help me to overcome temptation today and all through my life so that I can become more like Jesus.
In Jesus' name Amen!"
Blessed and holy weekend!