You’re determined to avoid it. You’ll be stronger this time. And then, it happens.
And you find yourself right back in the same ugly snare you’ve been plenty of times before.
It’s a ten-letter word that everyone struggles with. Yes, everyone. Even if they deny it. they do. So first, know you’re not alone. I find temptation nipping at my own heels; and sometimes it comes wrapped in disguise.
Just the other day I was shopping at a well-known department store. I headed to check out with a couple items in my hands and then came the question.
“Sir, would you like to sign up for a credit card with us today?”
The clerk enthusiastically countered, “You know, if you sign up for a credit card today, you can save 25 percent on your total purchase right now. It’s a fantastic deal!”
“No thanks. I’ll pass.”
At this point, I came face-to-face with persistence. “Well, in case you might be on the fence about it, if you sign up right now, it takes ten minutes or less. If you go online, it’s a long process. And, you’d save 25 percent today on all of today’s purchases. . .”
I had to give the guy points for tenacity. “Hey, I know that you’re just doing your job,” I acknowledged, “but I had a ‘Plastectomy’ a long time ago.”
His eyebrows arched, and I could tell a bit of clarification was in order.
“I cut up all my credit cards. It was painful, but worth it. Now I’m livin’ debt free, and I don’t ever want to go backwards.” I flashed a big smile, and added, “I have been set free…”
He handed me my receipt as I grabbed my bags; and as soon as I turned around, “I’ve Got The Power” came over the in-store muzak, “I’ve got the power…hey yeah…heh…I’ve got the power…”
I walked away celebrating my empowerment. It felt great to turn my back on temptation and avoid its mighty grip.
You can, too. You have the power regardless of what tempts you. Maybe for you it isn’t debt. Maybe it’s food. Or alcohol. Drugs. Pornography. I could go on. Let me just share one thing. You can read the books. You can go to counseling. But none of it will work unless you’re willing to just say, “No,” and walk from temptation toward freedom.
A good friend of mine struggled for years with internet porn. He hated how it ruled his life. It was destroying his marriage and his ministry. We had many conversations and said many prayers. Then one day, he got fed up by the way it had hurt everything he held dear. He unplugged his computer, went to the backyard, and smashed it into a million pieces.
I bet you’re sitting there thinking, “Whoa, that’s extreme.” And you’re right. But he EXTREMELY wanted his life back. And it worked.
Some years have passed and he now is able to have a computer in his home again— in a safe, open place. It took time, but all that was broken in his life has been put back together.
So, how much do YOU want to experience this same freedom when you are tempted?
Never believe the lie that you can’t break free. You do NOT need to be held captive. Freedom is rightfully yours. So, don’t hesitate. Grab it!
Jesus died on the cross, defeated death, hell, and the grave. Did He do this for you to live captive? No. He sacrificed so you could be free.
Do not ever forget that The Same Power that conquered the grave lives in YOU!
I also pray that your mind might see more clearly.
Then you will know the hope God has chosen you to receive.
You will know that the things God’s people will receive are rich and glorious.
And you will know his great power. It can’t be compared with anything else.
It is at work for us who believe. It is like the mighty strength
God showed when he raised Christ from the dead. ~Ephesians 1:18-20 (NIRV)