Temptation Is Always a Battle Between Now and Later
By Rick Warren
“For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18 GNT).
We rarely evaluate our values or question our perceptions until we have a crisis. Once we’re in deep pain, we begin to examine what we’re basing our lives upon. Whether it’s materialism, feeling good, or looking good, we instinctively realize there has to be more.
That’s why it’s so critical that we ask ourselves — before we’re mired in pain — what’s going to last?
Our culture encourages us to do just the opposite. Our society values the here and now. Tomorrow doesn’t matter. Next year doesn’t matter. A thousand years from today doesn’t matter. Eternity and Heaven don’t matter. Live for today.
But the Bible says something different in 1 John 2:17: “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (NIV).
Consider what happens when we’re tempted. Temptation isn’t just a battle between good and bad or what’s best and what’s not best.
Temptation is always a battle between now or later. Will I do what God says and enjoy the benefits later, or will I do what I want and enjoy the benefits now?
The Bible teaches us to “fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18 GNT).
Talk It Over:
- What makes it difficult to keep a long-term, eternal perspective when we deal with temptations?
- What decisions do you find the most difficult to make while keeping eternity in mind?
- How can you help others think about long-term consequences as they make decisions?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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