Day 24 – Laughing at Temptation
Brother Lawrence “reached the point where his thoughts were exclusively of God. In his struggle against temptation, he could sense the temptation from the first moment. His experience of God’s prompt help was such, however, that he sometimes allowed the temptations to advance, but at just the right moment he called upon God, and they vanished completely.”
Brother Lawrence grew spiritually and lived in God’s presence constantly. For him God was never more than a thought or prayer away. He lived and moved and had his being in God and in Christ and in the Spirit (Acts 17:28).
By living in God’s presence, he noticed temptation quickly. He knew himself well enough to know his areas of personal weakness and the typical ways he was tempted.
So he could see a temptation approaching him – the thoughts and feelings that would invade his mind and heart (James 1:14). He learned to call out to God and watch the temptation immediately disappear.
Since triumph over temptation became so easy, he decided to play a clever, but not recommended, temptation “game”! On occasion he would linger over a temptation before calling out to God, just to prove God’s faithfulness.
Just to be clear, he wasn’t trying to fool himself. He knew that God could and would deliver him in an instant.
So before the desire was conceived or gave birth to sin (James 1:15), he would call upon God who always came through powerfully to deliver him. The temptation would vanish completely.
This temptation “game” was his way of laughing at temptation and making a mockery of the tempter!
Concerning temptation, he didn’t anticipate failure. He just lived in God’s presence and believed that God would come to his aid.
While I wouldn’t endorse playing this kind of temptation game, I can be confident that Jesus can and will give me the victory over any and all of my temptations.
Like Brother Lawrence, I need to stay close to Jesus. Be filled with the Spirit. Know myself well enough that I know where I can and will be tempted. Be on my guard. Create boundaries around myself. Swing the sword of the Spirit – the specific Word of God that I need to overcome the temptation and the tempter. And celebrate my victory through Christ.
Action Step: Through Christ, stand in victory over your temptation, and laugh!
This is God’s Word for you today,