Monday, April 27, 2015

A Healthy Aversion In the Midst of Temptation

PASTORS should expect to be tested, as should Christians in general.
The tests that are in scope here are those that will flush out any degree of falsehood in us and make it known to the whole world, or at least the company of angels in the heavenly host before God.
Everything we do is in that company! We might as well flout God before the world.
At every step of life we can expect evil to test us and for God — as with Job — to allow it. How else are we to know the assurance of God’s grace in us than via the Holy Spirit’s affirmation post-temptation, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
The tests of life,
Aren’t what we think is rife,
But they are the things,
From where death springs.
The tests of life,
Are what lead us to strife,
Where our integrity fails,
And our usefulness for God pales.
The tests of grace,
Are the seeking of God’s face;
In the normal flow of our day,
Attention to integrity we must pay.
Character is known,
In the integrity shown,
When nobody special is looking.
But if we don’t notice our Lord,
Who should be there adored,
Just who knows what evil we’re cooking?
So far as the tests of life are concerned, we need to know that they are character tests in sum. We cannot be tripped up entirely in mistakes and errors of competence for which systems (like training) are designed to protect. We should never stress about being found incompetent when all we need to do is practice competence through thorough planning and careful execution. Every doable thing is doable.
But character faults are different. They have the power to find us guilty as charged!
We are only, inevitably, tripped up through faux pas’ of integrity — a little lie, an omission, a little secret; any immoral act.
We should pray that a miracle of godly fear would sweep through us over temptations to addiction, infidelity, corruption and embezzlement. Better still, when we are placed in these most evil arenas, great is God’s grace to make us instinctually sick from the inside out.
It is better to have an allergically aversive reaction to a temptation than to proudly say, “This thing will never have power over me.” If we are ever foolishly proud in order to say such a thing, we might well hear the whisper of the devil, “Famous last words...”
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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