Today: Proverbs 7

Once again we are called to treasure and obey God’s Word. What happens when we don’t? We walk in darkness (v. 9) and fall into temptation. And when that temptation comes, we don’t have the godly wisdom to walk away from it. Whether it’s sexual sin or any other kind of sin, we will be seduced by it (v. 21). The Bible is our guide for how to deal with these tempting situations wisely. What should we do?

  1. If at all possible, stay out of the compromising situation. This young man was probably in a place he should not have been in the first place. We do this because we have a natural inclination toward sin that started with the Fall. Jesus said men love darkness instead of the Light, because our deeds are evil (John 3:19). The first thing to do is get out of the darkness and move toward the Light!
  2. Listen and pay attention to God’s Word (vv. 1-5, 24). When tempted, do as Jesus did in the desert (Matt. 4:1-11): use God’s Word as your sword (Eph. 6:17) as you engage in the fight.
  3. As suggested in the point above, remember you have an enemy and you are at war! Many “fall” into temptation because they have fallen for the deception that there is no enemy! Submit yourself to God and resist the devil and he will flee from you! (James 4:7).
  4. Don’t let your heart stray toward the temptation (v. 25). Remember to guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Stay out of that dark place (even if it is just “twilight” — see v. 9). Don’t cross that street. Don’t go to that site. Don’t even go to that movie or read that book. You know what tempts you. Don’t go there!
  5. One of the ways to not let your heart stray is to turn to prayer. Pray, “Lead me not into temptation!” (see Matt. 6:13). Prayer is a way of fixing your eyes on Jesus. A reason that your heart strays is that your mind has come to believe–wrongfully so–that something in that temptation can fill you up … but it can’t. Oh it might for an instant, but that’s all. Jesus, however can and will give you life to the full … to overflowing (John 10:10)!
  6. If you do begin to stray toward the temptation, catch yourself (the Holy Spirit will help you if you let him!) and then flee from it!  (The Bible shows us how to flee from a variety of temptations: 1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). Turn off the TV or computer. Get out of that place. Excuse yourself from that “business meeting.” Turn off Facebook. Don’t respond to that text or message. Run away from it as fast as you can.
  7. Simply stay on the right path (v. 25). As you follow Jesus, he will guide you as a Shepherd guides his sheep down the path of life (John 10:2-4, 14). Listen to his voice and follow him on his path! Along the way, however, you will see many enticing paths you could choose to go down. The enemy, whom Jesus described as a stranger, will try to lead you down those paths (John 10:5, 10). The enemy will seduce you to walk down these lush-looking paths, but his aim is to steal, kill, and destroy. Life to the full can only be found on the Good Shepherd’s path. Stay there! (See my post, “Stay on the Path” for more on this. Also see the links below.)

What temptation is facing you? It is not too big for God! Which of these ways will you use to deal with it?

Bribing God
Call of Duty for Christ Followers
Do You Love Your Dross?
The Shortcut: A parable on the Path of Life
I Need Someone to Teach me How to Live

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    Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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