Resisting TemptationJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:02
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (NIV)
Let’s face it. We need help resisting temptation. Most of us as believers would like to say that we do not love the world, yet, if we are honest, there are times when we want what is of the world. The lust of the flesh is wanting what is not from God whether it be sexual sin, gluttonous portions of food, or selfish ambition at work. Lust of the eyes involves the material things we desire. And the pride of life is arrogance or dependence upon our own abilities for our well-being. All of these are readily present in all of us.
The command is not to eradicate these temptations. They will not be completely removed on this side of Heaven though as we draw nearer to God, the temptations we face narrow in scope. As human beings, we will always face temptations. Even Christ was tempted. The key to this passage is not to love these things. Love is more than want. It is action.
When we entertain ungodly thoughts for too long, they begin to manifest in desire which can push us over the edge to act on these desires. The key is to let these thoughts out of our minds to stifle the desire for the ungodly. And the most important is not to act on any of these.
Our passage defines love for us in the last part where it teaches us that when we do the will of God, the worldly desires pass away. What we do then shapes what we desire.
When we do the will of God, new desires are conceived within our hearts and minds that overtake the ungodly.
We can’t always stop the temptations from coming, but when we continue to obey the Lord, the temptations will have no hold on our desires. Our desire will be for those things God desires for us.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to condemn myself for being tempted or having desires for the ungodly. Help me to remember that I am human, but give me the self-discipline to always live out obedience to You to protect me from worldly temptations. Amen.