Temptation Ahead

Temptation Ahead

It was one of those beautiful autumn days that you just have to take advantage of, especially if you live in Michigan.  You can ignore the signs, pretend it won’t happen this year, continue wearing summery clothes and refuse to turn on the furnace until November, but deep down inside you know winter is on the way.  The lure of colorful leaves, an evening campfire and enjoying a cup of hot coffee on the deck in the crisp morning air was irresistible, so we began the I-75 drive to our cottage at Higgins Lake.

If you have read my other blog postings, you know that I love to read highway signs and billboards.  Settled into a comfy position in the car seat with a Big Gulp close at hand, I was enjoying the ever-changing colorful landscape when a billboard caught my eye.  The sign simply stated TEMPTATION AHEAD.  Underneath the caption was a burger and ice-filled coke so real that I caught a whiff of grilling burgers and saw a trickle of water run down the icy drink.  Typically, I don’t care for fast food and never stop unless I am on the road and there is nothing else available.  On this day, however, I wanted a greasy burger and watered down Coke more than any gourmet meal in the world.

TEMPTATION AHEAD; is it a warning or an invitation?  It all depends on my perception at the moment.  If my goal is a healthy lifestyle and wholesome food, the sign is a warning.  On the other hand, if I’m hungry or have a weak moment in my health resolve, I view the billboard as an invitation.  Or maybe I’ll compromise a little and stop in for an icy Diet Coke.  By allowing the billboard to influence me to stop at all, puts me in a position that may tempt me to temporarily set aside my health commitment and go for the entire meal.

On our journey with God, we will see many enticing billboards.  Will we view them as invitations or warnings? The Child of God does not have to be blindsided by Satan’s antics.  II Corinthians 2:11 says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  If we are led by the Spirit, we will recognize the warning signals and avoid the exits.  On the other hand, we can ignore the Holy Ghost and give into our desires or maybe just compromise a little and consider only the “good” parts of the invitation.

In my daily life, I have to rely on my own will power to resist a McDonald’s billboard, but in my Christian walk, God has provided me with extra weapons to recognize and resist everything that Satan would use to entice me from the path of following God’s plan.  Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”   God provides the armor but we have to use it because I can guarantee that the devil is not above hanging around until he sees you lay the armor down for the night or the moment and then strike with everything in his arsenal.

I am happy to report I resisted temptation that day, ignored the exits and stayed on the direct route to our cottage.  On the road of life I haven’t always been quite as successful at fending off temptation.  There have been times that Satan has managed to sidetrack me with no more than a colorful billboard and seemingly harmless enticements. If that happens, God still has a way to nudge us back on the main path. I John 2:1 reminds us, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”   If we continue to resist Satan’s invitations, he will finally flee from us and we will begin to recognize them as mere warning signs along the road of life.

About the author

Susan Niswonger

I am a Home Missions Pastor's wife. I have been married to the most wonderful, Godly man in the world for 33 years. We have 2 sons, 2 grandson and 3 granddaughters. 42 years ago, at the age of 9, I was baptized in Jesus Name and received the Holy Ghost. It gets better every day.