We’ve all played hide and seek in our childhood years. One person covers his or her eyes and begins to count. The rest of the players scatter and try to find a good hiding place until the person counting yells “Ready or not–here I come”.
Temptation is going to come into our life whether we’re “ready for it or not– it’s going to come”! So, how do we prepare ourselves for the daily temptations we will all face? In Scripture , the words temptation, testing and trials are often used interchangeably. So, let me ask, how should we prepare for a trial or a test ?
Well, if it was a trial we’d get all the facts straight and have a good defense. If it was a test we’d study a lot, retain the information and respond. Some people think they can go into a trial without knowing the facts or having a legitimate defense; then there are those folks who like to “cram for exams”. Neither way is going to be effective. You’ll lose the trial and fail the exam.
There are three ways temptation, trials and tests will come. 1 John 2: 16 tells us ” For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.” I know, as a follower of Jesus Christ you’ve read this Scripture or heard it preached many times before. Please bear with me…as I share what my Lord and Savior has laid upon my heart to share.
Saul was a prime example of how the temptation of the “pride of life “ can take hold and destroy. He was appointed and anointed of God; given a new heart and the Spirit of God was upon him (1 Sam 10: 9-10). Samuel anointed him King over the nation of Israel. The people cried to the LORD for a king and He graciously did so. For two years King Saul reigned; then we read in Samuel 13: 11-14
“And Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ And Saul said, ‘When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.’ And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue.” What happened?
King Saul was tempted by the “pride of life” .
Of course, at he first tried to blame it on Samuel for not coming to him at the right time, then he blamed the people because they weren’t close to him and finally he saw the Philistines coming and he panicked. He hadn’t prayed about the situation (as he was told to do), so he decided to handle it his way instead of heeding the commandments of the LORD. Result– disobedience to God. Did he fail because he wasn’t equipped? NO! He knew the law and how the LORD delivered the people many times from their enemies; he had a new heart and the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.
HE FAILED AND FELL CAPTIVE TO SIN BECAUSE HE WAS NOT USING THE TOOLS GIVEN TO HIM BY THE LORD! HE WAS EQUIPPED BUT NOT READY.
We are much like King Saul. Through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of our sin we are given a “new heart”, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and we have the perfect, infallible Word of God as our guide for living.
So how can we be ready?
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
Everyday, as we prepare our bodies to go off to work, school or whatever; we always make sure we’re fed, clean and clothed. Renewing of the mind daily by feeding our souls with the Word of God, relying on God to be our buckler and being full suited in the armor of God… we can be ready.
Scripture references: Psalm 91: 4; Ephesians 6: 11-13; Deuteronomy 8: 3 ; Proverbs 3:5-6 ; 2 Corinthians 5: 17
****to be continued****