When Temptation Comes My Way
When I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay
When I stood at “The Top of the Rock” on our recent family trip to New York City, I was awed by the amazing sight of the city at sunset. I was giddy with excitement being able to see the Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty all at the same time. The images I was going to be able to capture would be epic (in my opinion). The whole city was laid out before me…
But sadly, on a family trip, I found myself more concerned with myself and my ability to take photos than I was with spending the time with my family. Even more sadly, I didn’t hardly even think about how I treated my family until we got home and were looking at pictures. Then I saw this one.
On a family trip, with the people I love most in this world, this was the face my son was making. Seeing this image was probably one of the lowest points of my being a parent. I didn’t take the picture, and I didn’t notice that my son was having this bad of a time. I was more concerned with getting to the front of the ledge to get “the shot.”
I had given into temptation. In this instance, the temptation to be selfish. Temptations sneak up on us constantly, and they are hard to fight. I wish I had done better in this instance. I wish I would have remembered some of the stories about temptation in the BIBLE, and used them to ward off temptation at this moment, but I didn’t.
Luckily I will have more chances to fight off temptation, and I hope that I will never be so selfish that my son is left making this face. I’ve done some studying since I saw this image and have found three things interesting to me with regards to helping myself resist temptation.
1. GOD Will Provide The Escape
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. GOD is faithful, and HE will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation HE will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
The way out is GOD. HE can help me to escape the enticing nature of temptation. When I am feeling tempted, I have to know that through HIM I can resist. GOD is all-powerful. I need to tap into HIS power when I’m feeling tempted and look for the escape HE provides.
2. The Knowledge of GOD’s Word is Important
Then JESUS was led up by the SPIRIT into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. After HE had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, HE was hungry. Then the tempter approached HIM and said, “If YOU are the SON OF GOD, tell these stones to become bread.”
But JESUS answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of GOD.”
Then the Devil took HIM to the holy city, had HIM stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to HIM, “If YOU are the SON OF GOD, throw YOURSELF down. For it is written: HE will give HIS angels orders concerning YOU, and they will support YOU with their hands so that YOU will not strike YOUR foot against a stone.”
JESUS told him, “It is also written: Do not test the LORD your GOD.”
Again, the Devil took HIM to a very high mountain and showed HIM all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to HIM, “I will give YOU all these things if YOU will fall down and worship me.”
Then JESUS told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the LORD your GOD, and serve only HIM.”
Then the Devil left HIM, and immediately angels came and began to serve HIM.
JESUS was offered the entire world from a tall mountain, but HIS knowledge of GOD’s word helped him to know that what HE was being asked to do was wrong. I was on top of a tall building, and I wish I would have had the knowledge of the BIBLE to realize that I was being tempted away from my family.
3. Continual Prayer is Needed
HE went out and made HIS way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed HIM. When HE reached the place, HE told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Then HE withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “FATHER, if YOU are willing, take this cup away from ME—nevertheless, not MY will, but YOURS, be done.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared to HIM, strengthening HIM. Being in anguish, HE prayed more fervently, and HIS sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. When HE got up from prayer and came to the disciples, HE found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief. “Why are you sleeping?” HE asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.”
JESUS’ disciples were being asked to stay awake and watch over HIM as HE prayed. When they couldn’t even do that, HE told them that they needed to pray to avoid temptation. If we focus our lives and stay continually in prayer, temptation would not be able to find a foothold.
I hope that in the future, I will do better at resisting temptation. I hope that as I look at these images, and as you look at these images, we don’t forget what’s really important. Yes, I got some great images, but at what cost… I hope my son can forgive me, and I hope I never am so selfish that he makes that face again.