|background photo courtesy of pixabay.com|
Taking your kids to Disney World. Asking a beautiful and kind single Christian woman on a date. Volunteering for a reputable non-profit organization to help at-risk youth. Joining a church small group to get to know people where you have just moved. Coaching soccer in the next town over. How could any of these possibly be seen as temptations, right? Don’t they all seem like great opportunities? What could possibly be wrong about saying yes to opportunities like these? They can’t possibly be temptations, can they?
In the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty clear that illegal drug use is wrong and equally clear that volunteering for a non-profit is a good thing. So how can they all be lumped into the same category of temptation? Because a specific temptation does not have to be wrong in and of itself. It’s not wrong to volunteer for a good cause. But what is wrong is when we do something that is not in the will of God. And there are plenty of things we may be tempted to do on a daily basis that may not be in the will of God for us no matter how tempting and right seeming they may be.
Let me go back to the examples above. Taking your kids to Disney may be wrong if God wants you to save your money to start a ministry. Asking a beautiful and kind single Christian woman on a date may be wrong if God has made it clear to you He wants you to be single at this time in your life. Joining a church small group may be wrong if God wants you to spend more time with your family and less time consumed with meeting new people. Coaching soccer in the next town over may be wrong if God wants you to spend your free time studying the Bible because you’ve never taken the time to do so before. And all of these opportunities, no matter how good and right they may seem, may be temptations in that you are being enticed away from the will of God. You may be tempted to do any of these things rather than seek the face and will of the Lord and do what it is He wants you to do with your time.
How often, I wonder, do we find ourselves busy with responsibilities, opportunities, commitments, situations, and relationships that are simply not the will of God – at least at this point in our lives – because we have fallen into the temptation of satisfying our own fleshly desires, or of trying to please others, or of rebelliously going against what God wants us to do because we don’t want to, or of simply and sadly not taking the time to pray and wait on the Lord and obey what He shows us His will to be?
Whether something we are tempted to do seems right or seems wrong, it is wrong when it is not the will of God. It’s that simple.
Take the time, love, and care, to pray for God’s will in all areas of your life, wait for His answer, study His Word daily and apply it to your life, and obey when He gives you direction, ever careful to turn away from temptation and to live your life unto Him.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And 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.
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.