FACING TEMPTATION

Scripture Reading: Genesis 39:7-20

“And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused…’How then can I do this wickedness and sin against God?’ (Genesis 39:7,8)

The temptation Joseph experienced was very intense. First of all, it was a sexual temptation. It is amazing how powerful sex can be. Many have fallen because they have yielded to the over desires of their flesh. Second, Joseph was away from home when the temptation came. He was in a foreign land and did not have the influence of his godly father. Third, the temptation came from an influential person. If Joseph did not agree, his career could be at risk. Mrs. Potiphar could make life miserable for him. Fourth, the temptation came to Joseph repeatedly. When temptation first comes, we may resist it. But when it comes again and again, it gets harder to walk away from it. Fifth, the temptation came to Joseph at the perfect opportunity. No one was around. Can you see how intense the temptation was that Joseph faced continually?

James warns us about temptation — “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14,15). Temptation itself is not a sin. But when we dwell upon it, we easily fall into sin. Notice the language in James: Temptation can carry us away (draw us away), and entice us (comes from a word that means “bait”). Then our lust takes over, and we fall into sin.

When we face temptation, we must have both an offensive and defensive position. We have to be honest about sin. We have to call sin what it is — an offense against God. Joseph understood that what Potiphar’s wife was asking him to do was evil — “How then can I do this great wickedness?” (v. 9). We must realize that most sins hurt other people. Rarely does a sin just affect the one sinning. Untold damage is done to children, spouses, family members, and friends because of the sinful acts of people.

Most importantly, we must acknowledge that all sin is ultimately against God. Joseph stated it clearly — “How could I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” How can we grieve and dishonor God when we consider all that He has done for us? We must develop the discipline that is necessary to resist sin. Joseph resolved in his mind to honor God at all costs. He refused to give in to the temptation. Let me state it clearly at this point — We cannot do these things in our own strength. We must draw off the power of the indwelling Christ or we will fall on our spiritual faces. We will talk more about resisting sin in our next devotional

Lord Jesus, I face temptations many times a day. I admit that I am weak and cannot resist temptations in my own strength. I know that sin is an offense against You. Forgive me when I fail You and grant me strength to resist temptation when it comes my way.

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One thought on “FACING TEMPTATION

  1. William K. Griffin III says:

    Shelton:
    Happy New Year! Hope all is well. Just wanted to thank you for your daily devotionals. I read about 4-5 each day and yours is by far the best. I have several friends I share these with each day plus all of my siblings and their families. The Griffins love you- GOD Bless!
    William

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