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Traveling through temptations

God’s Precious Scriptures lead us through the potholes of this life.

Temptation is a word that gives off bad vibes as soon as we hear it. We see temptation as a single event that creeps up on us. Something bad is lying there, waiting to get us.

However, temptation doesn’t always arrive in a single moment but oftentimes as a series of events. So let’s view temptations as the unforeseen detours and unseen dangers we encounter on our journey through life. As children of God, by his grace and strength and guided by the Holy Spirit, we can travel through temptations successfully.

Preparing for the trip

Preparing for a trip through this life with its temptations is always advisable. We need the proper transportation, supplies, and God’s Precious Scriptures (GPS). This GPS that God has given us is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (cf. Psalm 119:105). We know that we will run across detours, potholes, bad weather, and some wrong turns along the way. We are to have the emergency equipment that prepares us for every situation.

We also need our traveling clothes. In Ephesians 6:10-17, Paul encouraged the Ephesians to dress for daily life: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). Off we go on life’s journeys.

Before we hit the road, we need to know where we are headed. It is easy to become distracted by the sights that may lure us down a different path. We need to stay focused on our heavenly destination.

Following GPS

But what if we lose our bearings and get lost? We don’t need to keep going to see how far we can go. We need to put our desires aside and ask for directions. Let GPS reroute us away from temptation. We think that we are skilled enough to handle the temptations of this world on our own, but Jesus warned, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Sometimes, however, we don’t listen and get stuck in a ditch. We may want to blame someone else or the GPS for leading us into the potholes of temptations, but the blame falls on us. Let GPS provide an alternate route to get us out of the situation and fast! Paul reminds the Corinthians, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Making it home

When we are tempted and sin, there is forgiveness as the words of the apostle John remind us: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1,2).

God’s Precious Scriptures remind us that we can travel along life’s journey with confidence knowing that our Savior Jesus has taken away our sin, travels with us, and will take us safely home. He uses his Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us through Word and sacrament. These means of grace not only will bring us safely through the trials and temptations of this earthly life, but they also will provide the Light of the world to lead us to our eternal home in heaven.

Author: Snowden G. Sims
Volume 110, Number 01
Issue: January 2023

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  • Snowden Gene Sims

    Pastor Sims is a 1980 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran High School, a 1985 graduate of Northwestern College, and a 1989 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He presently serves as an associate pastor at St. Paul's, Columbus, Ohio. He also serves as the Michigan District President. He is married to Melinda who is an instructor at The Ohio State University. They have a daughter, Erika, who resides in West Allis, Wisconsin. In his spare time Pastor Sims enjoys fishing, hunting, working out, gardening, playing guitar, and listening to jazz.

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