I lived for years thinking that I knew what was best for me.
For a long time, I did whatever I wanted. I was NEVER satisfied. I always needed more. I was continually thirsty. I was a slave to my sin.
I thought God wanted to take all the fun and pleasure away from me. Therefore, I didn’t fight temptation in the least. I sought it out. I went looking for it.
Where I’m at Now in My Fight
I like to think that I’ve wisened up a bit.
Let me explain where my thinking is now on temptation.
My old life seemed good, but it never really satisfied me. How could it? I was settling. I’m learning that all my old ways are the equivalent of wallowing in a pigsty and eating slop.
Contrast this with what God offers. The Bible says he is able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). Why would I continue foraging for scraps with the pigs when I can FEAST with my Father in heaven? Jesus says that if I ask, He will give me living water so I will never be thirsty again (John 4:10-14).
When I’m tempted, I ask myself, “Do I want the feast or the pig slop?”
How I Got to Where I’m At
I arrived at this way of thinking through The Parable of the Prodigal Son.
As you may recall from the story, the younger son asks for his share of his father’s estate and then goes out and squanders it on wild living.
It wasn’t long before he had lost everything and found himself longing “to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating”.
The Bible says:
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!” Luke 15:17 NLT
I love how it says, “When he finally came to his senses…” I spent a lot of years without my senses, starving for a satisfying life. I was deceived and confused about how to live the best life. During this time, I called myself a Christian, but I definitely wasn’t copying Jesus.
Fortunately, God is patient and gracious with us. Look at what happened to the wayward son:
[The son] arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:20 KJV
Notice how it says, “he arose”. I had to recognize the crap all around me for what it really was, come to my senses and rise up out of the pigsty. I had to make a move toward God.
But, to my astonishment, while I was still a long way off, God came out to meet me. Not only that, if you know the rest of the story, you know that the Father organized a huge party, a FEAST, for his son!
Temptation Has Lost Its Appeal
Time and again, I go back to the question, “Do I want the pig slop or do I want the feast?”
In this light, temptation doesn’t look so appealing. It has lost its luster.
Because of God, my fight with temptation has grown easier.
Where are you in your fight against temptation? Does this help? I’d love to hear your thoughts.