“Temptation is a sign that you are engaged in a holy struggle.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 13, 2022
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18, ESV
Any new goal or ambition brings with it a new set of temptations and obstacles. In fact, temptation is often felt most acutely when we set our hearts and minds upon a season of growth and development into the men and women God has called us to be. If you are apathetic and uninterested in a life of wisdom, rarely will you feel tempted to abandon the cause and find meaning and fulfillment elsewhere. Why? Because growth isn’t even on your radar! In fact, indifference is a tool utilized by the Enemy just as effectively as outright sin and rebellion.
Temptation is a sign that you are engaged in a holy struggle.
As such, rather than seeing it as a source of shame or discouragement, it is possible for temptation to be a helpful reminder that you are engaged in a battle, and that you’ve not given up the fight. When every distorted desire is gratified, without a moment of hesitation or second thought, there is no temptation to be found. Temptation exists in a place of competing visions, dueling stories of who we are and what we are meant to do.
“I’m tempted to keep my money all for myself, but I am also drawn to the goodness of generosity and using my resources as a blessing to others.” “I want to be powerful and respected at work, yet I also know true greatness is found in the way of humility and self-forgetfulness.” “My body tells me it wants that food or sexual pleasure, however I long to master my passions and not live as a slave to my physical desires.”
It is within these types of struggles that the battle for holy living is waged, and by the mercy of God, today we remember that we do not battle alone.
Left to ourselves, our temptations and desires are simply too great. No matter how strong one’s resolve may be, eventually you and I will give in and wave the flag of surrender. Temptation gives way to bitter acceptance and hardened patterns of living that embrace the broken stories of our lives. However, when we remember that we serve a Lord who knows our struggle and yet has perfectly overcome, despondency gives way to an unshakable belief that in Christ all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
As you enter into this new year, identify the sources of temptation in your life, embrace them as a sign of the longing and pursuit of holiness, and place your every hope upon our Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who is able to help in your time of need.
Father, thank you for the renewing and strengthening gift of your presence. Be near to me today as I engage in the battle against sin and death, trusting that it is a fight you have already won, through Christ our Lord. Amen.