Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12
From the time you were little, doctors have probably poked you with needles in the form of shots and vaccinations. In fact, if you could see your shot record, it would make you wonder how you haven’t lost all your bodily fluids through the many holes poked in your skin. But they have all been for a purpose: vaccines play a very important role in keeping you from getting some very serious illnesses as you grow up. For example, smallpox (a once feared disease) has basically been eradicated from the earth, and chicken pox (which every kid used to get at some point in their childhood) is on its way out. A vaccination works by actually injecting a small dose of the disease into your bloodstream. Your body recognizes it as a foreign invader and rushes white blood cells to the site to fight the disease. It is such a small dose of the disease that you won’t actually get sick from it, but it is enough that your body begins building an immunity for the next time that disease tries to harm you. A vaccination is a small inconvenience that leads to victories over the disease; that saves much pain and distress later on.
Temptation should be viewed in much the same way. Any time you are tempted, you are forced to make a decision. Will you cave and fall to the temptation, or will you fight it and win? A temptation should merely be a small inconvenience that leads you to great victories and saves you much pain and sorrow later on. When you say no to the devil’s attempts to get you to fall, it is just like a shot in the arm for next time. When you gain a victory, it makes it easier to win the victory over that temptation the next time it is placed in front of you. Unfortunately, as much as when you don’t receive a vaccine you are susceptible to the disease’s ravages if it infects your body, when you give in to a temptation, it makes it easier to give in the next time.
The key to the whole process, then, is learning how to fight temptation. Any temptation should be an invitation to pray. When a disease enters a body that has been injected with a vaccine, the white blood cells are immediately called upon to help fight the disease. When a temptation enters a spiritual life, the power of God must be summoned to fight the temptation. You will find that one victory usually leads to another, and your spiritual life will remain healthy and strong.
Quote of the day: “Don’t keep your eye on temptation while praying not to be led into it.”