[CF Devotionals] 2010-11-12 - Handling Pink Elephants

Part 1

I'd like for us all to start with a little mental exercise. Please read this paragraph and do as it says. First everyone, close your eyes. Now I want each of you to think of something strange and silly; think about pink elephants. Get a real good image of them in your mind. Get a clear image of them playing and bouncing do whatever things happy pink elephants may do.

OK now, don't think about them. Instead think about not thinking about them. Try to not think about pink elephants for a few minutes. Don't think about it. Oh I know it's tempting; those things keep popping into your head. OK kick them out and this time try real hard not to think about them. Dang not even a second and you're thinking about 'em again right? Can't do it can you?

OK Open your eyes before you all fall asleep. Now suppose that instead of pink elephants that had been some bad thought - a temptation to sin. Many of us would have lost the battle. Many of us would have failed to bring every thought into captivity. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Many of us would be diving into sin mentally and perhaps even physically right now.

That's what I want to talk about now is Temptation. Temptation is nothing new it led to the first sin in the Garden. Notice I said "led to" not "was" the first sin. Never ever forget that being tempted is not the same as sin. Temptation is not sin, but playing with temptation invites sin.

Hebrews 2:16-18
  1. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
  2. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
  3. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Jesus himself was tempted just like every other person who has ever lived. He simply dealt with each temptation effectively. One set of Jesus' temptations is recorded in the Gospels and can be found in Luke.

Luke 4:1-13
  1. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
  2. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
  3. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
  4. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
  5. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
  6. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
  7. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
  8. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
  9. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
  10. For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
  11. And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
  12. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
  13. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

So how like Jesus do we win against sin when temptation beats at our soul's door because "opportunity may knock just once but temptation leans on the bell"? Like the great philosopher Barney Fife said we just have to "nip it, nip it in the bud". Before we consider how maybe we need to first ask ourselves why.

Why is it important to nip temptations in the bud? Next time, let's look at this individually and collectively.

Until next time.



All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.