“It’s tempting, but…” is a phrase we often use when confronted with some delight we know we should not have, like a big hot fudge sundae or a second helping of delicious tri-tip. I think of it when I walk by the candy jar on the counter in the office, especially when it is filled with wrapped caramels. We employ that phrase when we consider a new purchase or a trip somewhere fun.
Temptation has been inoculated into the realm of delicacies and delightful indulgences and empty of any serious spiritual danger. That’s not the way Jesus understood temptation, nor the Bible. This coming Sunday we will be moving from the waters of baptism into the wilderness of temptation. My hope is for us to discover Jesus’ successful approach to facing temptations.
As you prepare for worship, I invite you to read the three passages of scripture we will use in worship: Matthew 4: 1-11, Genesis 2:15-17 and I Corinthians 10:1-13. Reflect on your unique temptations. If that is an odd thought, identify those things that bend you away from God. What have you discovered that works to keep you close to God? I am both sobered by the seriousness of temptation today and also excited about the resource and power we have available to us in God’s word.