I wonder who does not have a new year’s resolution to ‘not’ do something. It may not be a direct cause but even a resolution to do something means because we do not want to be ‘like this’ anymore.
I looked at all the reasons mentioned above in the Barna survey and took my temptation that I struggle with the most and had in mind a few my friends struggle with as well and I think the escaping from ‘real life’ would be the truth for most of us. Of course it sounds dysfunctional so why would we admit that, but we all want to live differently – the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
It is that ease in life that makes even the prosperity gospel sound so fascinating. I get all the things I want. Then when I get a message from my nephew on why is God allowing him to suffer, I am facing my temptation right in the face – he too wants to live a life of bliss.
It is this spiritual dynamic that has my attention this year. I no longer look at my temptation as a physical or intellectual or even emotional experience. It is a spiritual element that involves spiritual battle in my heart. I am stealing from my life the very things that God has put in it. I am escaping from the path He has put me on and by trying to escape I deny His involvement in my journey of faith. I have set a trap for myself, a trap that will lead me to death and not to life. I have been violent to my own spiritual walk with God.
So I look at my temptation, I name it and my prayer life has just become a daily time of battle, conversation with God, denying myself and taking my cross and following Jesus. I choose life and not death – I will deny temptation.