Preparing For Temptation
Apparently one of the apps on my phone has a program running in the background all the time, and from time to time I get this very pleasant little jingle. When I look at the message it says something like "light rain will begin in your area in approximately 10 minutes".. Usually, it's pretty accurate too!
If only we had an app, that jingled and said "Satan will temp you to lose your temper in 10 minutes" or "you will have to decide in 10 minutes whether or not to curse at your coworker". If I had 10 minutes to prepare for the situation that would cause me to lose my temper, I might be able to manage my anger and control my speech a little better.
We don't know when these type temptations will come our way, but we know they inevitably will. Our job is to learn self discipline, and live our lives in such a way that we are always ready for them, and so that "the real us" is not one to sin when the temptation comes. Several scriptures help us understand this, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) In the 1st century, Christians were warned about the corrupt or perverse generation they were living in. Today's generation is no different. Satan looks for any and all opportunities to tempt us.
As Christ walked about and taught, he often told His listeners "be on your guard...". The Apostles in their writings often told different churches to "be on your guard...". The Apostle Peter tells us this, "Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position." (2 Peter 3:17).
We don't have an app yet to forewarn us that specific temptations are around the next corner, but we know we should be constantly prepared for them. Today, let me encourage us all to prepare in advance for them, and be ready for those moments when Satan jumps out, sometimes in our moments of weakness, and ambushes us with temptation. Let us grow our faith so that we live lives that are pure and holy and in step with Christ so that when the moment of trial comes, our decision on what we do has already been made.