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Health Devotional


Resisting Temptation

Monday, August 3, 2020
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For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 1 Thess. 4:7, 8, NIV.

God cares about our everyday lives and calls us from impurity and unhealthful practices. But is willpower alone enough to keep us from temptation and enable us to accomplish a needed change of health behavior?

Jean had a cabin cruiser on the river. She often spent her weekends there, inviting others to join her and enjoy the escape from the hot summers in the city. Her guests frequently brought food for the weekend meals.

“What did they leave this time?” Jean asked herself after the last batch of guests left. “A whole box of chocolates!”

Although Jean was well aware of her health problem that could be triggered by eating concentrated sweets, she thought, Just one won’t hurt! But a chocolate binge was in the offing. Before she knew it, she had eaten the whole box. The penalty followed quickly, as she fell into the bunk, unconscious and alone for many hours. Only the timely visit by the dockman, who knew the potential of her ailing pancreas, brought her the needed emergency help.

“I should have known better,” she said later. “But my willpower is challenged by a box of chocolates!”

What is it that challenges your willpower? It’s easy for those who are not tempted by harmful substances such as smoking, drugs, alcohol, or chocolates to criticize the binge behavior of others. But what about overeating? You know you shouldn’t, and yet you do it. Even the apostle Paul had the problem of doing things he knew he shouldn’t (see Rom. 7:15, 16). Let’s face it—we’re all tempted by something!

But the good news is “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (2 Peter 2:9).

God cares about our everyday lives, and summons us from impurity. Because willpower alone is not enough, “Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil” (Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908). The Holy Spirit is the most powerful agent of behavior change and will bolster the weakness of our willpower.

Lord, I admit I’m tempted to do things I shouldn’t. Give me Holy Spirit power today to resist the devil. And may this be my prayer every day!

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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