Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fleeing Temptation

     This story was told by a chemistry teacher at school.  A female student wanted to make some potassium hydroxide solution (aqueous) and decided to throw a large lump of potassium into a bucket of water. 

     Out of the corner of his eye, her professor observed what she was about to do and hurried toward her.  After confirming what she was intending to do, he asked her to first stir the water in the bucket for five minutes before adding the potassium. 

     She was puzzled and asked the purpose of this action.   It will give me time to get away,” said the professor.

     There are times when running away is the proper response.  In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul said to “Flee sexual immorality” (I Cor. 6:18) and  “Flee from idolatry.” (I Cor. 10:14).  Fleeing is especially important when we encounter temptation.  We sometimes make the mistake of putting ourselves in situations where we are tempted, thinking that we are strong enough to handle it.  Sometimes we are, but often we are not.

      Remember when Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife?  She “cast longing eyes on Joseph and she said, ‘Lie with me.’” (Gen. 39:7).  Joseph refused to commit adultery with her, but she persisted to the point that finally Joseph needed to flee.  “He left his garment in her hand, and fled outside.” (Gen. 39:12).

      There may not be a Potiphar’s wife in your life, but there is likely some temptation which you find difficult to resist.  If alcohol is your temptation, flee. Make a decision to avoid people and places where alcohol will be readily available.  If sexual impurity with a boyfriend or girlfriend is a temptation, flee.  Make a decision to avoid situations where you are alone and the temptation is stronger.  If inappropriate use of your money is a temptation, flee.  Stay away from the mall!

      The worst mistake any of us can make is to think that “I can handle it.  I know this is a strong temptation but I won’t give in.  I’ll hang around close, but I won’t cross the line.”  The real question we need to consider is this:  “Who (or what) do we want to stay close to?”   Because fleeing is not just running away from something; it is also running toward something.

      “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (I Timothy 6:11)

     Father, more than anything in this world I desire to be close to you.  Help me to flee from those things which tend to pull me away from you, and draw me close.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

8 comments:

  1. Hello Pastor Smith...I especially enjoyed this message on fleeing temptation. For some, the mere thought of running (portraying ourselves as weaklings) in our minds is the greater struggle. I've found myself in places where I needed not to run, but to catch a 747 jet...LOL Anyway, I always enjoy your thoughts for the day. God has really blessed me and my life through these messages. Keep them coming!!!

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  2. An excellent thought from a humorous message. Love you, Brother, fiwl

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  3. To the praise of His gloryApril 15, 2009 at 1:35 AM

    Once again, your message is very impactful (is that a word?) Anyways I am encouraged by the thought for the day which you are faithful to pass on! Blessings!

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  4. You are really inspiring. Kindly keep blessing us with your rich ideas and thoughts.

    Stay Blessed

    fred. gh

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  5. frazzledgranny1952April 17, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    Having been around A.A. and Al-anon Family Groups in my past, I was always impressed with something I heard in one of their meetings. It was said by a member of A.A. to someone knew in their group. He said "Son, if you sit in the Barber's chair long enough - you will get a haircut!" It is the same thing the bible tells us about "fleeing" temptation!

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  6. This is really a master piece 've put it on my cellophone notepad, to read and be inspired that its alright to flee. God Bless you. Dont know how much impact we derive from your from the thought of day

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  7. Along wuth fleeing temptation, I had a friend who said about fights---I choke them on heel dust. Your pieces are very good. Thnak you. Nell...texas

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