Hot Doughnuts Now!
By Bonita Lillie, graduate of She Speaks conference
“One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.’” Genesis 39:11-12 (NIV)
We all have our weak spots and areas of temptation. For some it’s a choice morsel of gossip, for others a steamy romance novel, and still for others it might be overcome by a one-day sale at the mall. For me, the thing that really jolts my flesh is a bright red neon sign that reads, “Hot Doughnuts Now!”
I can innocently drive past the doughnut shop and that red sign will reach out and grab me. Whatever I was focusing on is a total loss. The doughnuts yell, “Come eat us! You love us! You can’t resist! Just do it!” The sign’s tentacles reach out and take over the steering wheel, sucking the car into the parking lot. I’m in a trance as I walk in and say, “Two glazed doughnuts, please.” That’s a good day. Sometimes that evil sign controls my mind and I order a dozen instead.
Yet, I’ve found one small trick that can save me from the clutches of this ferocious temptation. If I grip the steering wheel hard, fix my eyes directly in front of me, and push the accelerator a little harder, I’m able to drive right past that menacing place. In a few moments, I’ve actually forgotten that I ever saw the sign and my mind reverts to its original focus.
It’s funny how that works. When we face our juiciest temptation, if we will take a split second to start moving away from it, the grip loosens and we are soon free. What was once flaming hot, rapidly cools down and suddenly we realize that we didn’t really need a doughnut after all.
Joseph, a young man in the Bible understood this principle. He was sold as a slave into the household of Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, Potiphar. It didn’t take long for Mrs. Potiphar to notice his handsome physique. Day after day, she threw herself at him, but Joseph refused her advances. Next came the biggest test of all. They were alone in the house one day. No one would know, but Joseph didn’t give in. He was a man of integrity publicly and privately. Long before that moment, he had decided in his heart that he wouldn’t be thrown off course by a hot mama or any other temptation. He fled the scene. Joseph understood some basic rules that will help all of us overcome temptation.
- Make up your mind ahead of time. We can’t wait until temptation is upon us to decide not to give in. It’s too late then.
- Don’t entertain the thought of sin. Had Joseph been daydreaming about Mrs. Potiphar, he would have followed through with action rather than escaping her clutches. Thoughts precede actions.
- Take action. We must be bold in the face of temptation and quick to act. We can’t sit around hoping it will go away. Run in the other direction. Run to God.
When it comes to temptation, we must be proactive. That means that we need to start preparing now for the temptations that will come our way in the future. Each of us has at least one “sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1). Satan will look for an opportune time when we’re weak or unprepared to put that very enticing sin in front of us. The trick is to stay prepared all the time.
One thing is certain, whether we are prepared or not, temptation will come just as surely as the doughnut shop will cook another round of “Hot Doughnuts Now!”
Lord, You know my weaknesses and how hard it can be to walk away from enticements. Help me to recognize temptation when it comes my way and give me the strength and the will to flee immediately from it. Remind me that nothing I desire on the earth can ever compare with You. Thank you, Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
She Speaks! conference information
Are you flirting with temptation? Is there an area of your life where you’re walking a fine line between living for God and indulging yourself? Take a moment to submit these issues to God in prayer.
What would you have done in Joseph’s situation?
What things tempt you on a day-to-day basis?
How can you avoid the temptations?
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (NIV)
I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 you can stand up under it.” (NIV)
Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105