I didn’t notice the temptation. Because doesn’t temptation usually scream? I thought temptation had sirens and flashing lights and a voice blaring a warning in all caps, “CAUTION! TEMPTATION! DANGER!”
I had over-scheduled myself the day the project was due. My work was voluntary and not expected. Yet while ready to deliver, I was finding reasons not to. I’m too busy. This doesn’t really matter. God doesn’t need me to do this. No one will miss what they weren’t expecting. I could just as easily give (this effort) to a friend who would appreciate it.
There was no pitch-forked passenger in the backseat of my car giving instruction over my shoulder. It was my own voice I heard suggesting, “Give it to a friend. She’ll think you’re great.” There were other words. Some of those words felt a lot better to me than taking a risk in uncertain territory. And it would be easier …
Scripture came to mind throughout that day. Persistently. Scripture about treating others the way I want to be treated, repaying evil with good, and good works to glorify my Father in heaven. When it came to turning my car right or left, I came face to face with the obstacle and the truth. What a moment! Whew! I followed through–shaking and nervous in risk, but full of joy I would have missed. God, you get the glory!
Later, I read Luke 4 about Jesus being tempted. Temptation looked different to me there: I perceived an embodied Satan taking Jesus places, promising him greatness, showing him rewards, challenging him to prove himself.
Each time the Enemy provoked, Jesus returned, “The Scriptures say …”
Not one word in all caps. Satan paints a pleasant picture. And in the wilderness, who would know?
Jesus was full of the Spirit; led by the Spirit in the wilderness. That same Spirit is in me, equipping me with life-giving words to battle the one who wants to steal, deceive and destroy.
Father, thank you for truth! Thank you for your persistent leading. For showing me what was going on when I was unaware. My voice loud over your whisper, it wasn’t until you literally removed my obstacle that I saw it all for what it was. Nothing Satan offers will ever satisfy like obedience to you. I am so very grateful for your great love.