DayBreaks for 09/05/13 – Withstand the Beginnings
James 1:13-15 (NLT) –And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
Thomas à Kempis once was pondering the human yielding to sin and the progression that takes place inside of us. His words were: “First there comes to the mind a bare thought of evil, then a strong imagination thereof, afterward delight and evil motion, and then consent.”
So, what would his sage advice be to help us deal with the temptations that come our way? It was this: “Withstand the beginnings.”
If you apply a magnet to the end of a needle that moves freely on a pivot, the needle swings toward the strong magnetic attraction as the beloved rushes to her lover’s arms. Reverse the order however, and apply the magnet to the other pole, and the needle shrinks away trembling as if it hated it.
What’s the point? One person rushes into the arms of vice; another recoils from it in horror. According as the nature of the person the vice is approaching is holy or unholy, temptation attracts or repels, is loved or hated.
Our Lord Jesus said, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
PRAYER: Often, Jesus, we wait until we are in over our heads with sin until we seek deliverance! Help us to withstand the beginnings and stop the entire process before it moves past the tiniest thought of evil. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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