by Neil Anderson
AT THE THRESHOLD OF TEMPTATION
Titus 2:11, 12
The grace of God has appeared . . . instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age
Yielding to temptation is another step toward a stronghold being established in your mind. Whenever you are stimulated to conform to Plan B instead of God’s Plan A for your life, you are experiencing temptation. The essence of all temptation is the invitation to live independently of God and fulfill legitimate needs in the world, the flesh or the devil instead of in Christ. That’s the great contest. And Satan knows just which buttons to push to tempt you away from dependency on Christ.
The moment you are tempted to get your need met in the world instead of in Christ, you are at the threshold of a decision. If you don’t immediately choose to take that thought “captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), you will begin to consider it as an option. And if you begin to mull it over in your mind, immediately your emotions will be affected and the likelihood of yielding to that temptation is increased.
The Scriptures teach us that God has provided a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). But the escape is right at the threshold of the temptation. If you don’t control the temptation at the threshold, you run the risk of allowing the temptation to control you. Rare is the Christian who can turn around after directing his will toward Plan B.
For example, a man sees a pornographic picture and is tempted toward lust. He has the opportunity to respond by saying something like, “My relationship with sin has ended. I choose to take this thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I’m not going to look at it or think about it.” And he separates himself from the picture immediately and escapes the lust.
But if he hesitates at the threshold, stares at the picture, and begins to fantasize about it, he will trigger an emotional landslide producing a physical response which will be difficult to stop. He must capture the tempting thought in the threshold or it will probably capture him.
Prayer: Dear God, I want to be obedient to Your perfect plan for my life today. I don’t want to give in to Plan B thinking. Strengthen my will to obey.