Serious About Resisting

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Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Serious About Resisting

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

Last lesson we gained a clear picture of what Joseph's perspective was on sexual temptation as Potiphar's wife seductively enticed him to lie with her. We learned of the depth of Joseph's loyalty to his master on earth and his Master in heaven. Once you've faced and overcome temptation in a particular situation, is that the last time you usually have to deal with it? Can you drop your guard once the allurement has passed? Think about temptation in your own Christian life… You've been confronted with the same temptations more than once, haven't you? So too, was Joseph. I think you'll see from our continued study of Joseph's life in Genesis 39:10-12 that we must therefore have a plan when it comes to resisting temptation time and time again…

And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Whether you believe it or not, each person is to blame when it comes to an immoral relationship. Clearly we see that truth just from reading this portion of scripture alone. Though Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph day by day, he did not consent to her relentless and lustful advances, therefore no immorality ever occurred between them. It only takes one righteous person to put a stop to Satan's wicked devices, amen? Ladies, temptation is part of the devil's crafty plan that appeals to our natural desires in an attempt to separate us from God. It is Satan's deceptive invitation to live a self-serving life that leads to rebellion against God. Temptation is Satan's alluring summons to give in to his kind of life and give up on God's kind of life - a holy life! However, his is not an invitation we are obligated to accept! The Bible tells us the devil can be resisted time and time again with powerful results. It is our duty to do so…

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ladies, God's plan against temptation is to protect us from it through submission to Him! Temptation is subtle; what it offers may seem harmless at first glance, even gratifying. But our plan must be to always resist it! It is far too easy to get drawn into the subtle temptations of seemingly harmless practices. Sometimes curiosity can cause us to stumble, amen? Many times curiosity "killed the cat" too, as the old expression goes! Things forbidden have a secret charm… Think for a moment of what types of things you are curious about today and beware! Knowledge of evil is harmful, especially if the evil becomes too tempting to resist! To resist curiosity about harmful practices shows wisdom and discretion, and submission to the Lord will always protect you and I from the snares of Satan and constant temptations.

Proverbs 2:11
Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

2 Peter 3:17
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

I'm sure you'd all agree that temptation often hits hardest in our areas of weakness. Though you may have strong faith, you also have weak spots - and that is where temptation usually strikes again and again, sometimes day-by-day just as Potiphar's wife enticed Joseph! It is wise for us to recognize and admit what those weak spots are and plan to strengthen and protect these weaker areas!

Rev. 3:2
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

How does the fact that your ways are in full view of the Lord make you feel? It ought to sober us up and clean us up, amen? Our society's obsession with sex shows that most people are not living in the fear of the Lord. However, simply because the majority of society is engaged in immorality is no reason for us to give up and give in to temptation! As God's children, the best plan for us is to be an example of a people who keep our bodies pure and live our lives fully aware of God's watchful eye...

Romans 6:13
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

How can we, like Joseph, guard against being seduced by sexual sin? First of all, we must understand that resistance begins with being aware of temptation when it strikes. Temptation in itself is not a sin, therefore we do not sin until we give into the temptation and disobey God. Considering Joseph's example in our reading today, we find that we must resist immediately, for any delay only makes it more difficult. Last lesson we saw that Joseph reminded himself of God's penetrating eyesight, and even in the face of a beautiful, tempting woman he never forgets the presence of the Lord! Though Potiphar's wife persisted in her offer of sexual pleasure daily, the Bible says Joseph hearkened not unto her - he shut her off and out. He even declined being in her presence altogether. What a wise young man! As a matter of fact, Joseph stayed far away from any situation that brought him nearer to the temptations he was trying to resist.

How many of us share the same battle plan with Joseph?? Though sex is a powerful advertising tool, Joseph's strength to resist came after submitting his heart and mind to the Lord… Then he blocked his eye gate and ear gate from that which would weaken him. How close do you come to those temptations that plague you daily, dear lady? Are you as wise as Joseph or do you foolishly rub elbows with that which Satan uses to lure you away from the Lord? Is your heart fully submitted to God?

Proverbs 1:10
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Proverbs 4:14
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

We must not be surprised by temptation coming upon us at unlikely times and in unlikely places… Even for moments like these we must have a plan, for you can never be too prepared to resist temptation! As Joseph went into the house to do his business, the Bible says that Potiphar's wife caught him by his garment and again demanded him to lie with her. Knowing her character, she had probably been waiting for him in the perfect spot for the perfect moment - a position of vulnerability, for no other men were in the house at the time when she caught Joseph. Knowing his character, Joseph had his master's business on his mind, not his master's wife, and was caught unaware by this sly woman who wanted him so lustfully.

You know ladies, the devil often tempts us when we are most vulnerable, when we are under physical or emotional stress - for example, when we are lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, or faced with uncertainty etc. As Potiphar's overseer, no doubt when Joseph entered the house he had numerous details on his mind and didn't notice the trap he was about to step into. After all her attempts to weaken him, this one however, was a little too close for Joseph's comfort, so he reacted quickly. Without much time to think he did what he could, he left his garment in her hand and fled. Yes, Joseph got out of a hot spot real fast - before he got burned! It might not have seemed like the most mannerly thing to do but it was certainly better than doing nothing, amen? Joseph knew to linger for even a fraction of a second would mean that lust would take over. Would that more men were wise enough and willing to run when they are trapped by a temptress!

Starting today, what situations or people do you need to be more careful to avoid, dear lady? When we are in the wrong, the devil tempts us; when we do nothing, we tempt him. Perhaps it's time we all became more serious in this matter of resisting temptation, amen? Let's follow God's plan for victory; it certainly worked for Joseph!

Mt. 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

Past Weekly Devotions

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Israel42's avatar
AMEN! I pray that we all could wach out for these temptations. :pray: