My two year old granddaughter loves to play in my makeup. She also knows she’s supposed to have permission. Yet there are times when that desire to have pretty lips is just more temptation than she can stand, and she will sneak out of my sight into my room to play with it. Her personal desire causes her to struggle against what she knows to be right.
We all struggle at times to obey God’s commands. In fact, it would be safe to say that it’s a daily struggle for all of us. No matter how determined we are, we will fail in some of these struggles because we are far from perfect, and we will be led astray. But we aren’t doomed to failure. Praise the Lord there is hope and help to be found through Him. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
1 Kings 12:20-13:34 tells of two people who struggled to do what God asked of them. Jeroboam received a promise of great blessings as well as a kingdom that would endure if he would just follow God’s direction (1 Kings 11:38). Even with this promise, he became an insecure king who struggled to maintain focus on God. In 1 Kings 11:27-28, fear and pride led to King Jeroboam creating idols to be worshipped by the people. He knew this was a sin, but he struggled to believe God’s promise of a lasting dynasty. He felt a need to control the people in order to maintain their allegiance to him and tossed aside God’s promise leading an entire nation into sin.
In chapter 13, a man of God is sent to King Jeroboam and instructed not to eat or drink while he was there. He obeyed this command when the king offered him food, but when later enticed with food by an old prophet, he struggled with personal desire. He must have surely been hungry after making that trip, and he eventually caved to the deceit of the old prophet.
The struggle is real. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Sometimes we have the best intentions of obedience, but find ourselves in a predicament of disobedience and consequences. We must stay in God’s sight by walking with Him daily because when we try to sneak off out of His sight like my granddaughter, our personal desires will grow stronger causing us to sin just as these men did.
Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”