October 14, 2008

Flee Temptations

James 1:12-15

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace …
2 Timothy 2:22


A good friend of mine is a skillful fisherman. He has told me many times that the reason why I am not good at fishing is because I lack the patience.

He said that when the fish sees the live bait, the fish will not bite on it the first time. Instead, it will hit the bait lightly to see if there is any reaction or danger. If I pull the pole immediately, I will get nothing. But if the fish sees that nothing happens, it will think that the bait is safe to bite. That’s when I should pull the pole.

Temptations are like that too. They look so harmless at first. Don’t believe it when people say that using drugs occasionally will not become an addiction, or that you can always get out of an extramarital affair if you want. James says that if we allow ourselves to be “dragged away and enticed,” then our “desire … gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” By the time we realize there is something wrong, it’s already too late.

Paul told Timothy to “flee … evil desires.” Run away from them, just as Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him (Genesis 39). Don’t even look back; don’t give Satan a chance.

Deep down we all know the areas in which we are most prone to fall into temptation. Take Paul’s advice and stay far away from them.

Father, forgive us for falling into temptations so easily. Holy Spirit, help us not to see, listen, think, or do things that are displeasing to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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