Moving away from temptation.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights. (NIV)
There is no doubt that we all struggle with the power of temptations before us. This is the human experience. The sinful nature within us craves the wickedness set before us by the outside world. Spiritually, it is a deadly combination like an addict living with a thousand drug dealers.
The Bible says that Christ was tempted. He was tempted in every way the Bible says. He was tempted by the outside world but He met each temptation with such spiritual force, He never sinned and whatever struggle He may have had was insignificant.
In the desert, led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan, Christ is exhausted and starving from his forty-day fast. We are most vulnerable when we are tired and hungry, yet He quickly rejected each temptation with the Word of God. In the Garden of Gethsemane facing intense pain and humiliation, for a moment, He asked God for another way, but within the same phrase returned to the will of God.
It is important to understand that even though Jesus is God, He had chosen to live as a natural man helped only by the Spirit given to Him by God. This is the same Holy Spirit that God has given us. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to escape the temptations that war against our souls. By the Spirit, we are like the deer who at the slightest sound, quickly leap away to higher ground. Consistent communion with the Spirit brings great dexterity to flee the evil desires of the flesh.
Our escape is found in the heights. Treading upon a narrow path along the side of a hill on rocky terrain is where we must flee. We need the Spirit because, along these pinched pathways, there is no green grass on which to feed or cool waters. We are tempted by those things that bring comfort and ease from sources hostile to God. We must be ready to do without comfort and ease to defeat the temptation with faith that we will soon find the Lord’s safe pasture and quiet waters.
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk with You that I might be alerted quickly to evil and with spiritual instinct leap to Your higher ground for me. Amen.