Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living with a Target on Your Back

When we were kids we sang Oh be careful little eyes what you see…be careful little hands what you do…be careful little feet where you go. It was quite catchy back then but had a powerful message—the result of living an unguarded life always ends in disappointment.


This week we discovered another significant pastor admitted moral failure. Although only a few of the ramifications have been announced—disqualified from leading his 20,000 member church—many more are churning in the background. His personal life as well as his ministry are now ship-wrecked. Major restoration is the only hope.
So many scriptures come to mind that speak of temptation, trials, testing, refining. James speaks of how Satan creates a lure to attract us to sin. He also prowls about to attack us. It’s as though we live with a huge target drawn on our backs at which the enemy chunks his darts. All of his attacks are designed to destroy the work of God within us or through us.

But I also realize how faithful God is to make a way of escape. Joseph had that moment to decide if he wanted Potifer’s wife or wanted to maintain his integrity before men and holiness before God. He ran. That moment is our gift from God to overcome the temptation.
No temptation comes to us that is beyond resisting. Jesus proved that. To guarantee our victory over sin, with each temptation is a way of escape if we choose to use it. We can say no. We can walk away. Choosing not to use the way of escape is evidence that the desire to sin has established a stronghold in our heart.

Sin cannot establish a stronghold with a glance, or an invitation, or a suggestion. Sin can only establish a stronghold when it has weakened our desire to resist. This takes time and thought. In other words, we see it coming and don’t get out of the way.
Temptation is never irresistible in itself. It becomes irresistible when we take delight in whatever it is offering. That delight can make us blind to the consequences.

If we will be careful what we see, touch, and where we go, we may keep ourselves from sin by not allowing the temptation to become irresistible. Anyone can give in and anyone can resist. I wish that pastor had done so. I hope I do so. Even now, I'm feeling another ring on the target on my back being drawn.

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