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UP AGAINST THE ROPES

Theologian Russell D Moore writes, 'Resistance to temptation means taking desire seriously. Both Jesus and Satan do.' Well, that's interesting. Ever been in a sermon where the preacher tells you to 'just get over' your wrong desire? That temptations are easy to beat if you just get your act together? Those sermons are all well and good, but we don't think it's quite as simple as they make it sound. The Bible doesn't either: 'Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle'... 'are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh' (Colossians 2:21, 23). Temptation is a big thing, and there's no way to 'discipline' yourself past it. The only way past temptation is through God.

Moore also says: '...desires are made to be stronger than human decisions. They are meant to show you that you are a creature and to point you to Christ. The antidote is to see where these desires point to the Gospel and to cling to the mystery itself, or rather the mystery Himself'.

The ongoing struggle with temptation is a privilege. Honestly! It helps point us to Him every day. And you can't wrestle with God without coming away different - wiser, calmer or tougher. Wrestling with God to be free from desire will change you, it will re-shape your heart and re-focus your thoughts. That is how you'll find your way through temptation.

So what now? Identify temptations you're finding hard to overcome. Instead of beating yourself up about them, thank God that His desire is to help you overcome them and ask Him to show you how.

Soulfood : Deut 25-27, Mk 5:31-43, Ps 44:9-16, Prov 12:10-11

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