A good friend has encouraged me to tell my personal story about temptation. I wrote about Trials vs. Temptations earlier this week on my blog and received many words of encouragement. So, here goes.
Many years ago, I‘d jointly purchased property and then the personal relationship ended. It became a nasty battle involving lawyers on both sides who drew up the terms of the dissolution agreement. I was distraught over the end of the relationship but knew it was the right thing to do and the property had to be split. We’d made arrangements to meet at a local bank to sign the dissolution agreement before a notary.
I’d taken time off work and we appeared at the appointed time. I sat down in front of the notary and signed off on the paperwork. Instead of signing the paperwork, he started to explain to the notary that he would “never sign anything because she’s mistreated me; she’s evil.” With that he threw down the pen and stormed out of the bank.
I apologized quickly to the notary and walked to my car. My heart was racing with the emotional turmoil. Normally, I would have sat in my car, cried, and been furious at his behavior. Instead I prayed to God for strength and wisdom. After a few minutes, I headed back to work. On the drive, my prayers wandered into a desire for affirmation from God, “Wasn’t I good back there? I didn’t throw a fit, didn’t get upset; I don’t even want to seek revenge. Didn’t I pass your test? Aren’t you proud of me, God?”
I was alone in the car but I heard a voice boom, “I’ve had enough from you. I’m not talking with you now because you’ll wreck the car. But we’re going to talk when you are back in your office.”
“Now that we’re back here in your office, close the door. I’m weary and angry with you for thinking that I am testing you all the time, trying to trip you up and make you fail. I am your God and I will never tempt you. But Satan is alive and well in the world and he has many of his henchmen waiting at every corner. It is Satan who tempts you, not me. When you are tempted, why do you think I am always around? Not because I am the tempter, but I am your protector. All you need to do is call my name when you are tempted to sin and I will help you. I am stronger than Satan and all his legions; just trust me. I love you.”
It was a one-sided conversation; I sat for a few minutes mulling over what I had heard. “I will never tempt you. All you need to do is call my name when you are tempted to sin and I will protect you. I love you.”
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)"
I guess sometimes I don’t get it when I just read Scripture. That’s when God has to come in person to explain it to me!
Blessings, my friend,