Over a week ago, for the first time since launching “The Cherry Vine”, I received two requests to blog on specific topics…”The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” and “Temptation.” These requests were from two different people–one woman, one man, and actually living in different states. It was really strange, as I wondered what was so significant about this particular day that brought about these requests. Didn’t really draw a correlation, but I was happy that finally, someone wanted to hear my perspective on a particular subject. It was another moment of affirmation of walking in Purpose.
Trying to find some commonality of these requests, two of the words immediately entered the brain…”want” and “temptation.” As usual, my first resource to research official definitions was Mr. Google 🙂 Here’s what I found…Google search defines “want” as, have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for. Temptation is defined as, a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. The obvious common denominator being Desire! Sounds like desire can either be a completely ethical want, with no negative repercussions or a potentially toxic want, which results in being tempted.
I believe that desire is a natural thing. It’s innate to the human species–All of us! Who doesn’t or hasn’t ever desired, wanted or experienced some form of temptation? Either or all of the three comes to us so easily, and all have to be carefully managed as each can result in wrong, unwise choices. Why? We oftentimes desire for the wrong reasons, for the wrong things. The epitome of desire makes us dream of acquiring specific items, material things and yes, that includes people too! Sometimes we even desire our character or emotions to reflect that of someone else. It’s an adrenaline rush to journey on a path that begins with desire and ends with obtaining…I got it! I got him or her!! It gives us a feeling of accomplishment. It makes us feel pretty good.
So what’s the problem with that thing called Want? What’s so wrong with having a desire to possess something or someone? Lord knows, I love and want boots!! 😉 My “take” is that we can be so overcome with wanting that it overshadows what we should want more than anything else…A relationship or an improved walk with God! We shouldn’t want anything or anyone more than we want or desire Him! At the end of every day, it is not the religion or the religious practice, but the relationship that matters. So when you find yourself about to get on that track of misguided want, stop running toward the wrong finish line, refocus and set your sights on finishing with God in mind. Everything else is secondary!
Now, what about temptation?? Temptation seems to carry a totally negative connotation, as the reason why we’re tempted is because we’re wanting or desiring something or someone that we know we don’t need, may not be good for us, and may cause some sort of problem down the road…it more than likely should be off-limits!! The old adage of wanting what we can’t have certainly plays right into temptation‘s game. You see, it starts with desire or want. They always precede temptation’s torment, therefore again, we have to manage them very carefully.
Question is….Is it okay to be tempted? I believe, as mentioned before, that by birth, like the very first created family, we are naturally tempted, so the answer is “Yes!” I think that God knew when He created us that we would be tempted. However, His gift of choice is the most important tool to use when presented with temptation. All of us need this tool because we have all chosen wrong, probably more than we’d like to admit! Everyone has made a bad or unwise choice, when tempted. It’s just truth at its core! What we all should do, as we grow in Christ, is to recognize temptation for what it is. Think thoroughly through the repercussions and choose wisdom over haphazard actions. It certainly serves up a huge portion of peace, which surpasses the temporary gratification of an unnecessary want and baseless desire, which eventually turns into a platter of toxic temptation!!
It is my belief that the purpose of those two requests was to remind me and “The Cherry Vine” readers of God’s word and to give it a 2016 “spin”, as we are ALL challenged daily, need to know that we are not alone in this battle and apparently are looking for motivation and inspiration to combat these strongholds. They only serve to keep us bound. So, when those subtle nuances of desire, that have the potential to turn into hazardous waste or poisonous toxins, show up front and center, remember this:
1) Psalms 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want“– anything more than Him. Everything that I want or need begins with Him. I need Him first.
2) Matthew 6:13, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” –as it will always bring about pain and discourse in my life…may not be immediate, but it’s surely coming!
Let’s evaluate our Desires closely, as they truly are the baselines for Wants and Temptations. I’m still working on it!!! Desire what’s good for you. Desire what’s good for others. Desire the best of everything that God offers, but most of all, desire what God desires for you!
Peace & Blessings,