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On Grocery Lists and Temptation

12/04/16 - Pastor Young

One of my more mundane, everyday struggles comes to me when I'm out shopping for groceries.

It can happen suddenly, like a bolt of lightning in an otherwise sunny sky, as I stand surrounded by potato chips and various biscuits -- a sense of confusion, and the accompanying thought, what did I actually need to buy?

It's a bit embarrassing, my poor memory; I even regularly convince myself that it's not as bad as I remember it -- probably because I don't remember how bad it is! It's not until I'm standing, frozen in the endless aisles of Coles, utterly defeated by rows and rows of orange juice and peanut butter, that I think to myself, I should've written a list.

Are you like me too? Aren't we all like this, to some degree?

We convince ourselves that when the time comes, we will remember, but the reality of the situation is that we think too highly of our mental faculties sometimes, and we would be better served preparing ahead of time. 

This past Sunday, as we saw in our continuation of the series "The Gospel of Jesus According to Luke: Lost and Found", Jesus provided an example for us to follow in defeating temptation. We saw how it is only possible through the way that Jesus represents us, but that we did have a clear example to follow, and it was found in reflective application of Scripture. But how can we reflectively apply Scripture when temptation rears its ugly, yet enticing head, and we suddenly can't remember our Lord's words to us?

A great way to get started with this is to start with a list, just like when it comes to remembering what grocery items to get. So let's start with a few of the replies to the temptations that Jesus gave:

And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years int he wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. (Deuteronomy 8:2)

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. (Deuteronomy 6:13)

Once you have these down, take note of some of the promises of God -- these will be indispensable as weapons of warfare against temptation:

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Scripture is filled with the essential knowledge that will protect you and keep you. It's dangerous to go alone, so take these words with you. They are what will sustain you in the face of temptation, and help you to defeat it.

 

Praying for victorious memory in you,

Pastor Young