Anglican Morning Devotion for 20 September 2021 Anno domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
(MATTHEW 26:41; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Temptation and its allurements are constantly the soul’s great enemy and the adversary’s primary weapon to destroy young and old alike. It is a weapon reserved for the Dark Prince of the Air and never employed by the almighty. God tempts no one. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13) So, by what means do we encounter temptations? The most common temptation encountered occurs by our own volition. We place ourselves in places where temptations can assail. The small, winged moth may fly closer and closer to the light of the flame, which attracts it, until its wings are consumed and it dies a fiery death.
Our youth often associate with companions who are less than obedient to parents or law. They believe they will not be drawn into the same by those associations; however, in time, the good will be contaminated with the bad in sin.
HOW TO AVOID TEMPTATION: Avoid circumstances in which temptation is known to exist. I love chocolates and sweets of all varieties; so, I must not surround myself with such since I may be tempted to partake of them. The same is true of sinful employments. Avoid events and people whom you know will tempt you to do, say, or think something not consistent with a Godly character. One tiny surrender to sin will inevitably lead to a greater one as in the case of King David’s temptation to indulge Bathsheba and later felt compelled to have her husband, Uriah, killed in battle to cover his own sins. If the voice of your conscience speaks against the goodness of an act, avoid it while it is in the bud. Our Lord was tempted in the same wise as each of us, yet, He never succumbed to temptation. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18), and “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) We are vessels of clay and are weak. We may sin, but we have a forgiving Father.
WHEN TEMPTED, USE THE WORD OF GOD: When Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days and nights, He was tempted by the Devil. In His response to each temptation, our Lord quoted Scripture – “IT IS WRITTEN!” At last, the Devil departed from Him because the Word of God overcomes the intrigues of the Devil. I have found this the most effective approach in my own life to quench the sinful urge to yield to every temptation. When you first feel tempted, move away immediately from the source. Remaining at the source only weakens your resistance. Pray for strength to avoid the Tempter and the temptation. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
SOURCES OF TEMPTATION: 1) Pride: Pride is the father of all sins and was the sin that led to Lucifers fall. It is the first of the seven cardinal sins – see Proverbs 6:16-19 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) There is a measure of pride involved in every sin under the sun. It is not difficult to find temptation – it lies before our steps everywhere – in the air, in nature, in words, in pictures, in gossip, in certain music, and, yes, even in the Church.
OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOODNESS: I fear for my country and her people when I consider the next verse: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) That which God has ordained, we have discredited and given dignity to such perversions as He has condemned.
One white lie may lead to a thousand of increasing magnitude. In our daily walk, let us remember who we are – we are princes and princesses of the King of Kings. Our actions reflect on the dignity and sovereignty of our Father. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Light, no matter its intensity, will always disperse the darkness that has no power to resist it. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)