I’ve just opened a book written by remarkable Christian author whom I’ve met, and know his testimony. It starts off by telling a story of what happened to him one night as he checked into an hotel, whilst on a speaking engagement. He was fifteen years into his healing and had an international ministry to others who were coming out of similar problems. Right there on the table in the room was a pile of pornographic material. He was tempted. He even tried to justify the temptation in his own mind by seeing it as research for his ministry. Thankfully, the Lord intervened and he resisted the temptation. It would have destroyed him and his powerful, God-given, ministry.
It made me think of what happened to me recently. About once, maybe twice a year, I read a novel, usually when I’m on holiday. It’s almost like a treat, because the rest of the year I seem to have too much other stuff to read, for work, and also Christian books. I usually like detective-type stories, and recently started one by an author I’d read a number of times before. There are things in secular books, as there are on television, that we have to be careful about as Christians, but I had never before found anything to cause a problem in these books.
Anyhow, suddenly I found myself reading a passage which was a rather graphic description of immoral behaviour that was going on. It was only a page long, out of the whole novel, but I so regretted reading it, instead of immediately throwing it aside. I just wanted to get on with what was going on in the detective story, but the cost of that has been a battle that’s lasted days and days, to get rid of the pictures that the passage put into my mind.
The bible says that we should take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. So, He helps us to do that, thankfully. Our verse for today warns us that we’re all vulnerable to fall, even when we think we’re doing well at standing firm for the Lord Jesus. The next verse after that says: ‘The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure’.
Prayer: Praise You, Father God, that temptation helps us to see just how much we need to depend on Jesus. Praise You for Your promise that there will be a way out. Praise You that, if we do fall, You’re a merciful God, and will forgive us and restore us. Help us, Lord, to be careful and alert to temptation, and keep on looking to Jesus and depending on Him to give us the strength and courage to take the way out that You provide for us. Amen.
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