In the likely event of a temptation do you have a strategy for an emergency exit?
Airlines lay out what to do in the unlikely event of a “water landing.”
Floor-level lighting will guide you towards the exit. Doors can be opened by moving the handle in the direction of the arrow. Each door is equipped with an inflatable slide which may also be detached and used as a life raft.
We prepare for unlikely events. Why not prepare for ones we know will happen—temptations.
Jesus was ready for temptations. His strategy for dealing with them was simple: he followed the Lighted Text, that is to say, the Bible.
His strategy proved effective during his 40 day and 40 night stay in the wilderness. While there, Satan threw three temptations at Jesus. Jesus moved swiftly into emergency maneuvers. He threw at Satan scripture to deal with each temptation. Tune in to Luke channel 4, or Matthew 4 to see Jesus in action.
Do you suppose the strategy Jesus used could work for you?
- When tempted to be angry when you should not be, or tempted to hold onto your anger for longer than you should, might you call to mind this lighted text?
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26).
- When you despair over your salary?
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5).
- When Satan tempts you to stay late at work, skip another evening with your family, and stay home to keep working on a Sunday morning?
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint (Proverbs 23:4).
- When you want to worry about tomorrow and tie yourself into knots over the potential disaster that could befall you the day after today, could you follow this lighted text Jesus spoke?
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).
- When you get worked up about how long it is taking to straighten someone out?
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).
We urge you … encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
- When you are tempted to put your eyes onto what will tear at your life?
I will set before my eyes no vile thing (Psalm 101:3).
- When you are paralyzed by fear?
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened (1 Peter 3:13-14).
- When you are not happy because times are hard?
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other (Ecclesiastes 7:14).
This season of Lent can be a time to think through personal temptations and hone your strategy for a safe exit in every situation.
Temptations will come. Testings will surely come. Consider handling them the way Jesus did. What worked for the Lord might just work for you, too.
Now that’s something to celebrate!