We’ve all dealt with temptations and if you haven’t, just keep living…
I’ve had many temptations in my lifetime, some that I was able to avoid; some that I yielded to, and some that caught me off guard. I try to remember my mistakes so that I do not repeat them. You’ve probably heard your grandma say this, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” or something to that effect.
I recall one incident in which the tempter really caught me off guard. I think back now, twenty years later, and try to figure out how I allowed myself to get in that predicament. I was really working on getting closer to the Lord. I was spending two-three days a week fasting, studying my Bible daily, spending an hour or more every day in prayer and meditation, attending church service every Sunday, Bible study on Wednesday, Saturday morning prayer, and watching tele-evangelists in the evening.
I attended a women’s spiritual retreat from Friday evening to Sunday morning, then went to my home church for 11:00 a.m. worship service. The Sunday morning closing speaker had warned us to not get ‘cocky’ (my word). She had reminded us that we were feeling spiritually strong and powerful at that moment because we had spent the week-end in the presence of the Lord and with powerful women preaching and teaching the word of God. She warned that the devil, our adversary, would be prowling, seeking whom he could corrupt and attack from those of us who had attended the retreat.
I remember thinking, “It won’t be me.” I had praised and worshipped God all week-end, shouted, spoke in tongues, danced in the Spirit, and felt I was too full of His Holy Spirit for Satan to get to me.
I was still glowing and smiling on Monday morning when I went to work. I dropped some papers off at a physician’s office during my lunch, saw a boutique shop across from the doctor’s office and went in to look at the clothes. A well-built, not so bad looking fellow, came in the store, smiled and showed his white teeth, started talking to me about financial planning, and gave me his business card. I talked with him as I browsed through clothes, not really paying attention to him because he was not ‘my type.’ He said he had an office in the building and urged me to call to discuss my financial future. I gave him my business card and told him to call me later so he would stop talking and let me shop before my lunch was over.
I can’t recall to this day what we talked about, how he got me to go out with him, and how I ended up getting engaged to him. I think we met for lunch or I invited him to my office to discuss his opportunities. I was interested in doing some investments at the time and felt the time was right for me to start putting away more for my retirement but I had no interest in getting involved with the guy.
We dated for several months; he asked me to marry him; I said ‘yes’; knowing we were unequally yoked – still attending church and doing all the spiritual things I listed above. He pushed me for a wedding date but I kept putting it off (I guess I knew in my spirit something was not right) until I discovered that he was trying to get other women to go out with him when he tried to sell them investment plans or insurance.
It was a messy break-up that I should never have been in.
The lesson learned: You’re sometimes most vulnerable when you’re at a high spiritual level. We tend to put our guard down and the enemy rushes in like a flood or slithers in like a snake. I felt like I was spiritually invincible after leaving the haven of anointed women and didn’t think Lucifer could get to me because I was filled and baptized with the Holy Spirit. All that old devil needs is a pin hole and he will slip in with thoughts of what he knows you desire.
BUT – Thank God! Thank God! Thank God! There is no temptation that can overtake us. God will give us a way out so that we can endure. I allowed the enemy to come in, went through a tiring test, and learned my lesson. I don’t hope to go through another test like that again. I pray I passed with an A+.
I will remember that Satan does not give up because we’re victorious, or anointed, or baptized and filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)