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The Well of Temptation (Part 3)
Series: Journey to the Well of Life
Sheila Wise Rowe
The people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” (Exodus 17:3, NLV)
When we have a distorted view of God, we look to other wells to quench our thirst: The Well of Temptation is one. It is like a mirage in a desert that appears to have an abundance of fruit and water that will refresh us. Unfortunately, it is an illusion and a diversion. The Well of Temptation often appears when we have experienced a situation in which we have felt vulnerable or exposed or when we are hurting or have hurt others. It is important early in this journey that we identify any recurring temptation which may surface to distract or dissuade us from the path towards healing. When we drink from the Well of Temptation we have made a choice which will take us off the path. We see this in the story of the children of Israel. They leave Egypt, the land of their oppressors, and as they journey to the Promised Land, they face various trials and temptations along the way. At each point, they had a choice to make: either to act out of their old identity as slaves or to trust and obey God their Father and Creator. Often they ignored what God said and instead, relied on what they thought, felt, heard or saw. Repeatedly they drank from the Well of Temptation so that what should have been a journey of a few weeks took forty years.
Imagine that the Lord has given you a promise written in a book which tells an incredible story. The story is about a person who embarks on a long journey. That person is you, and the story begins with the author recounting how He created you and wove this tale. Psalms 139:13-14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that He knit you together in your mother’s womb, in the secret place. He created you.
The author goes on to say in Jeremiah 29:11, “…I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Like the children of Israel, our lives are a story with many chapters, some chapters are quite ordinary, some chapters are suspenseful cliffhangers or traumatic, some are heart-warming, and others are kind of dull. But we have difficulty staying in the story because a prior chapter or the chapter that we are currently living is not to our liking. So we give up or give in to temptation. When we do this, it is like being in the middle of a good book and hitting a boring or traumatic chapter. We stop reading because we believe that there is no way that the hero can be saved or he’s heading on the road to nowhere. This must be all there is to the story. A good friend of mine often reminds me to “stay i ...
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