I have a confession. I’m a bit obsessed with satchels. No matter what form they might take - messenger bag, briefcase, backpack, sling bag - if it’s designed to carry stuff around, I’m all about it. I know. Strange, right? But it’s true. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always liked getting something new to carry my stuff with me, even if I didn't need it.
The result is that I have lived a life of temptation. So many times, I have succumbed to the temptation of that shiny new satchel, with it’s clever new zippers, or hidden carrying pouch for my laptop. So many times I have ignored the fact that I have roughly a dozen satchels already laying on the floor of my closet. So many times I have justified the expense. And so many times I’ve bought “just one more”.
Usually a day or two after my purchase, reality sets in - and so does the guilt. Why on earth did I buy another satchel? Why wasn’t I happy with the dozen I already have? How is this new one going to make me any happier? The answer is simple: I gave in to temptation.
Now, as you're sitting there shaking your head at how silly I am, I'm going to ask you to look in the mirror, and admit you have the same problem. Maybe it's not with satchels, but it's definitely with something - because the reality of life is that we all face temptations. Whether it’s in our eating, or spending, or gambling, or drinking, or lusting, or fear, or anger - temptation is an issue that all of God’s children must deal with. And that’s because temptation transcends race, color, gender and creed. It is an "equal opportunity" struggle.
But the good news is, God has given us a way to handle our temptations so that we don’t have to give in - and we don’t have to live with the guilt that comes afterward. Listen to how the Apostle Paul talks about it in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where he writes: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, and with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
What Paul reminds us of in this passage is that yes, temptation will come - BUT, God will also provide a way for us to resist that temptation. Through the power of His presence in our lives, and through the power of His Word, we are able to resist the temptations the enemy throws at us. James 4:7 puts it like this: “Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Resisting temptation is as simple as humbling ourselves before God, letting Him know we need His help, and then cooperating with Him as He protects us from the enemy’s attacks.
The key is, we have to do that. We have to admit that we can’t handle temptation on our own, and then humbly ask God for His help. So today, let’s commit to resisting temptation. Let’s intentionally think through the sins that tend to regularly trip us up, and then let’s take those sins to God and ask Him to help us resist the temptation of those sins when they come up. God will give us a way to escape. So today, let’s take it.