Why I Never Want to Fight an Octopus ~ blog
The one reason I never want to fight an octopus is that it has tentacles. Boxing is rather simple because you only must keep track of the opponents two gloves. Ultimate fighting is a bit trickier because you now have two hands and two feet. Multiply that by 2, and you have an octopus. Eight tentacles and a sharp beak to eat you. That is nine things on which you must focus and like most men I can only deal well with one thing at a time.
However, isn’t that like what we deal with when we are battling temptation? Multiple tentacles are wrapping themselves around us and drawing us into a place where we will fall. There is that old fantasy that you have used for years sneaking out of your memory. An attractive woman next to you in the elevator while you are going up to your office. A woman at work is wearing a low-cut cleavage showing blouse and a tight short skirt. Three tentacles and you’re turned on before you even get your computer turned on.
Then an ad pops up advertising anything but always using sex to sell. You want to click on it. You have clicked a thousand times in the past and what is one more time? Rationalizations are pouring in, and your schedule is lite, and you have become “Octopussied.’ What is a person to do???
There is only one solution to this problem that we face many days a week. You have been drawn into dangerous waters. You have been lured away and enticed as it says in James 1;
“…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
You have been “dragged away” because tentacles have wrapped themselves around your brain and are pulling you into a place where you will have the opportunity to fall. After you have been dragged away, then you are “enticed.” Something you really desire you now see or are imagining in your brain.
Then, because you have done, so a thousand times your “desire is conceived.” You make the mental decision that you are going to give in … again. Up to this point, you have not sinned because we all have evil desires in our flesh. We are all tempted, and our sexual desires are like spilled gasoline. We are enticed, and that is lighting a match. And when sin is conceived it is you dropping the match onto the gasoline. And whoosh, you are off to somewhere with your smartphone to act out.
How do we battle this octopus and it’s eight tentacles? You better have a very sharp, deep sea diving knife in your hand. As soon as you realize the appendage of temptation is slipping around your brain you cut it off and say; “No, I rebuke that idea. I do not want to allow even a hint of sexual immorality in my thinking this day.” Another tentacle appears, and you say; “No, she is created in the image of God, and I have no right to think of her as a sex object, so I renounce that idea.”
When we allow our thoughts to go unchallenged and fail to address and rebuke these initial stages of temptation, we will fall again just like we have fallen countless times before.
The answer, and yes there is an answer, is to understand how temptation works on you and taking the necessary steps to stop the process of temptation and take positive action in the opposite direction.
This week we are going to study temptation and learn exactly what the Bible teaches us about it. Many of us have become so beaten down by sexual sin that as soon as we begin to be tempted, we lose heart and give in to it.
James teaches us this process that happens when temptation comes, and the results are not good. We read in James 1:13-15;
“For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
This is the process of temptation and we will learn more about it this week. However, notice where it leads you.
It Gives Birth to Death
Sin steals from us the life that God wants us to experience and instead gives us death. It can bring death to our marriage, our families, our friends, our job, our self-esteem and even to our very life.
However, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read;
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Learning how temptation works on you is most important if we are to avoid it and walk in purity.