Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Just Say No
How often do you face temptation in a day? Most of us face a gauntlet of temptation every day of our lives – everything from unhealthy sugary delights to sexual sin to pride, anger, and more. Sometimes we are victorious over the temptation and we rejoice in the victory; at other times we succumb to the temptation and we mourn the defeat (Matthew 5:4).
There is a very simple word to help you overcome temptation. In fact, this little word can spare you much heartache and defeat, if you will learn to use it properly. This one little word can pull you out of all the tempter’s snares – it is the word “No!”. Yes, this is the same approach Nancy Reagan recommended in her anti-drug program about three decades ago; however, it was an approach used successfully thousands of years before she suggested it. One of the most successful users of this phrase was Joseph, son of Jacob.
Joseph was an 18-year old man who knew how to say “No!” to temptation. During his residence in Egypt, Joseph faced the most subtle, seductive temptation a man can face, the alluring attraction of sexual sin. Sexual temptation is, without a doubt, the strongest and deadliest of all temptations, and Joseph came face-to-face with the sexy, seductive woman of Proverbs 7:7-23.
Joseph was a strong, handsome young man. His hormones were as active as any 18- to 20-year old single male’s would be. It was at this young age, while he was lonely, isolated, and far from his home, that Joseph faced the greatest temptation of his entire life. How did he escape the snare of the degenerate young woman who tempted him? He just said “No!”
My belief is that Satan was involved personally in this episode and Joseph was his target. I believe Satan set his sights on this young, innocent, Spirit-filled man of God and decided to try to knock him off. Satan applied his most powerful weapon and aimed directly at a young man’s most prominent weakness. The devil used a seductive young damsel to appeal to Joseph’s sexual appetite.
There are no pictures to prove it, but Mrs. Potiphar was likely a very attractive woman, a contender for the “Prettiest Woman in Egypt” honor. Her husband, Potiphar, was an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard (Genesis 39:1). Potiphar was a prominent, prosperous, and powerful man of position. According to the customs of the time and culture, Pharaoh allowed his trusted servants to choose any woman of the kingdom he wanted as his wife.
Mrs. Potiphar, however, probably felt lonely being married to a very busy government official whose job demanded much of his time. He was away from home a lot and she had an unfulfilled need for intimacy. Joseph was a tall, dark, handsome man and Mrs. Potiphar was attracted to him. The devil’s snare was easy to set. Satan had Egypt’s most alluring bait and Joseph was the quarry of a seductress on the prowl.
Satan had a lot at stake. God had a tremendous plan for Joseph’s life, which had been revealed by God in Joseph’s dreams (Genesis 371-7). Satan could sense God was planning to do great things in Joseph’s life, and ever since God told Satan He would someday send a man into the human race to “crush his head” (Genesis 3:15), Satan had been worried. Satan was doing everything in his power to eliminate the Promised One, and by this time he surmised God intended to bring that One through Joseph’s family.
Even though the Promised One, Jesus Christ, has come, there is still application today for us. If you find yourself facing powerful temptation, be aware that Satan has targeted you because God is planning to use you in a powerful way. Satan will do anything he can to thwart and subvert God’s plan for your life. Satan will always target and attack the men and women God prospers. He isn’t worried about people who never contribute to God Kingdom; he is far more concerned about those who accomplish great things.
Joseph was prospering and obviously under God’s blessing. Joseph, however, was also vulnerable. He was young and immature, suffering from unconscionable rejection by his brothers, lonely, and homesick. Perhaps he held a hint of disillusionment as he had been told by God he would be a ruler, but now he was a slave. If Joseph were ever to have a weak moment, it was now. When a person is physically tired, emotionally tired, spiritually tired, and beat down by the bombardment of problems, Satan knows he has great leverage.
When Mrs. Potiphar asked Joseph to come to bed with her (Genesis 39:7), Joseph did the normal thing and just said “No!” He responded, “With me in charge, my master does not concern with anything in his house. Everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.” (Genesis 39:8). Satan, our great accuser (Revelation 12:10) was defeated and God must have smiled.
Temptation is ever-present, ever-appealing, and unavoidable. Someone has rightly stated, “The whisper of temptation can be heard farther than the loudest call to duty”. You’ll never become spiritually strong enough not to face temptation. But God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. When you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Sometimes God’s escape routes for us are elaborate. Sometimes, as with Joseph, it’s as simple as just saying “No!” It is normal to remember this powerful little word the next time the devil or your own flesh tempts you to sin.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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