Overcoming Temptation

I feel sorry for my Friday afternoon clients. About 3:00 P.M., the craving for chocolate and caffeine hits. Last Friday, I was thinking about M&M’s and how great they would taste with a little coffee. I was planning to stop by the kitchen at work between my three and four o’clock clients, grab my coffee and hit the Receptionist’s area with cup in hand ready to fill up with candy. I was sure that my client wouldn’t mind.

Everything was perfect except that I had been trying very hard to break a powerful addiction to sugar. I was battling between my need for instant gratification and the furtherance of my goal. I heard the voice of the Lord, telling me that He really wanted me to succeed at my goal, and that it wasn’t just MY desire for myself. He cared about the fact that this grainy white substance (sugar) had power over me and that at times I was enslaved by it. I wasn’t feeling very strong and I purposed to follow through on my plan regardless of what I was sensing. When I headed to the receptionist’s desk, I saw that the M&M container was gone. I was too proud to ask where it was, so I gave up on my mission. As I headed down the hall to my next client, I was reminded of the verse in I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear: but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I heard God ask me if I recognized what He had just done for me. Did God move on the hearts of the receptionist to hide the candy dish? I don’t think so. I don’t know where it went. It reappeared the next Friday. What I DO know is that God was trying to drive a point home to my heart, that I was not in this battle alone, that He would help me if I would call on Him, and that He really would provide a way of escape.

In the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13, Jesus prayed for God to “lead us not into temptation” and to “deliver us from evil”. Because our battle with food is in part a spiritual battle, it only makes sense for us to call on God for help. We must remember that Jesus was tempted in all ways that we are, but He did not sin. Because He knows the “feelings of our infirmities”, He can join us in our temptation and help us to be over comers.

May we remember in our most tempting moments that there is One who stays “closer than a brother”, who loves us beyond our wildest dreams, and who longs to see us succeed.

This article is by Jennifer Cecil, M.Ed., LPC