Thursday, July 07, 2005

Preparation

As Hurricane Ivan made its way towards Alabama last year, it sparked panic-stricken shopping trips among most residents to every grocery store, discount store and convenience store in search of batteries, water, and other necessities. After Ivan blasted through Montgomery and my house escaped unscathed despite living in a neighborhood laden with big, tall trees, I felt extremely grateful and told myself that I'd stock up on batteries and other supplies JUST IN CASE another hurricane came calling.

Well, less than a year later, Hurricane Dennis is baring down and could very well take the same destructive path as Ivan. And once again I find myself planning a shopping trip for batteries and other necessities in preparation. Why didn't I buy all this stuff after Ivan last year? Well, even though I'd just experienced the first hurricane that I could remember, I didn't expect to face the threat of another one so soon.

I find myself doing the same thing when it comes to temptation. I can face some big temptation and, if I yield to it, I end up feeling first ashamed, then grateful for God's forgiveness and mercy. Or if I escape temptation, I feel relieved and thankful for His guidance and grace in dealing with that temptation. I vow to myself that I won't put myself in the same position again, that I'll arm myself with more discipline and faith so that I'll be prepared next time that temptation rears its ugly head.

Too often, that vow doesn't last long. I don't take temptation too seriously. Before I know it, I'm facing it yet again, and am not any more prepared to handle it than I was before.


I'm not sure why that is; the Bible is clear that tempations WILL come our way: "Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted." Hebrews 2:18 (emphasis mine)

I think that sometimes I get this idea in my head that one day I'll wake up toughened enough to withstand temptation. But we are taught to renew our strength daily, by putting on the full armor of God. Paul admonished the Ephesians (and us) to "stay alert", which is a daily renewal of our faith, not some once-in-a-while strengthening.

"Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere." Ephesians 6:13-18

Daily preparation is key. I need to remember that.

4 comments:

DJG said...

I always thought by the time I reached 40 nothing would tempt me anymore. All I would have to do is coast to the end and God would take me home (in my mind there was nothing else to do when you were 40 anyway!)

You are right, it is a daily activity to face down the wiles of the devil.

GrayWolf20 said...

do you go to Landmark? I noticed your name on David's list of alabama blogs and i dont think i know you. o well just wondering if i met you already and dont remember cuz of the bad memory i have or that i dont know who you are.

Anonymous said...

i always get the "i'm the worship leader" thing stuck in my head, which naturally means that i'm impervious to spiritual attack, right? ha! great thoughts, lisa.

and thanks for the comment; i didn't know if anybody else was on the same page with jen and i. i've mentioned bob ross before, and little 18 year olds are like, "huh? what? oh, you mean that painter with the afro?"

david

Lisa said...

Yes, I do go to Landmark--I'm one of the "oldies" (31) who does remember seeing Bob Ross on PBS and being fascinated by how he painted those mountains and trees. David, glad to know I'm not the only one who remembers...