Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Genesis 39:6-10 (NIV)
Remove, Reject And Run
Do you want to be able to refuse temptation? You are thinking that I have asked you a very easy question. That thought did cross my mind. You should know that I have not asked you an easy question. Why is that? Hasn’t your experience told you that I have not asked you an easy question. What do you mean by saying that? Think deeply about the question that I have asked you. The quick and easy answer to my question, that you could give to me might be, “Of course, I want to be able to refuse temptation.” Has that always been the truth? Have you always wanted to refuse temptation? Have you ever enjoyed being tempted? Have you ever lingered around temptation with the thought that you will refuse it when you get around to refusing it? In the meantime, you enjoyed temptation. Yes, everything you are saying is true. I have enjoyed temptation. I have lingered around temptation. I have even savored temptation in my heart and mind. If you savor temptation in your heart and mind will you be able to refuse it? Will you be able to reject temptation? Will you be able to run from temptation? No, I doubt it.
What has your experience taught you about refusing temptation? If I want to refuse temptation I must start by removing all its sources from my life. I must put temptation on a starvation diet. There are places I should not go. There are things I should not do. There are even people that I should not allow into my life. I should not be found in the wrong times at the wrong times, if I want to refuse temptation. That’s right.
What has your experience taught you about rejecting and running from temptation? Timing is everything. There is a time to reject temptation. There is time to run from temptation. When is the right time to reject and run from temptation? The time to reject and run from temptation is right now. I have never found the way of escape out of temptation when I have lingered around it. If I linger around temptation, I will surely give in to it. That’s true.
Do you want to refuse temptation? Yes, I do. Will you eliminate sources of temptation from your life? Yes, I will. Will you immediately reject and run from temptation when it comes your way? Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I will remove myself from all known and obvious sources of temptation. I will not allow myself to be in the wrong places at the wrong times. When temptation comes my way, as it will, I will refuse and run from it, at once, with all my strength and speed. Amen
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