And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused. Genesis 39:7-8
God has Satan on a leash. He can’t do more than God allows. Temptations test my faith. I’m required to dig deeply and use spiritual faith muscles that need strength training. Satan never tempts me just once, either. When I take hold of God’s grace and flee one kind of temptation, Satan will come back with yet another variety. He is relentless and doesn’t play fair. He is intent on concocting the perfect storm so that I will have no willpower. He’s after my kryptonite.
Satan tried to use pain to drive a wedge between Joseph and his God. It didn’t work. (But it does with most people and it certainly did with me. A low threshold of pain causes strong Christians to fall into disbelief.) Yet, Joseph stood strong. He stayed tender, teachable, and resolute in his faith.
When the catalyst of pain failed, he turned to pleasure. Day after day, Potiphar’s wife wooed Joseph. She was probably beautiful and Joseph was, most likely, lonely. That he didn’t give in to her was nothing short of miraculous.
Satan is intuitive. He is also strategic, cunning and patient. He spies, watching my life to assess where I am vulnerable. He knows my story and knows my wounding patterns. I can’t afford for him to know more about my weaknesses than I do. Perhaps this is why David was so intent on asking God to search his heart. Knowing himself as God did was critical to his spiritual victory.
Under what circumstances would you fall? Do you know? What are your unique longings, and if someone or something could fulfill them right now, would you be tempted? It’s not a mistake that Paul defines sin as trading the glory of Christ for something else. For Joseph, it could have been a forbidden affair with Potiphar’s wife. What trinket holds allure for you over the value of treasuring Christ?
Don’t let me run from the truth about myself. Show me who I am through Your eyes. Deliver me from any evil that is being customized for my defeat. In Jesus’ name, Amen