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Temptation is a mirage - drink the water of life and send it away.


I'm always surprised when I re-read a Bible passage that I have known for years and something new and different stands out to me that hadn't really occurred to me before; and this is exactly what happened recently when I read Matthew 4, 'The Temptation of Christ'.

In this Bible passage, Jesus goes out into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights and Satan appears to him and tries to tempt him.

The thing that stood out to me significantly upon re-reading this passage, the part that really hasn't left me since God put it in my mind, is this...Jesus was in the desert, a barren and hot and sparse land; he was without water and food. Now many people who go out into the desert for less time than Jesus did, suffer great dehydration, and this lack of water can cause delusions and disorientation an example of this would be 'mirages'. In the desert land when you're dehydrated and desperate for water, a mirage shows you the thing you desire most at that time, it seems like getting there will satisfy the yearning inside you and bring you joy. But, once it's within reach, it disappears, it turns out to be a lie, that offers no satisfaction, only disappointment and leaves you still yearning. I think the imagery of a mirage is so appropriate to this discussion of temptation. The things that tempt us in the world, whether it's the temptation of an unhealthy diet decision, or the temptation to think or say cruel things to people who irritate you, or the temptation to watch television instead of reading your bible, or the temptation to get drunk... Whatever it may be, worldly temptations seem desirable, like they might be the solution to our problems, but when we give in to them, we are left feeling disappointed and empty. This is because the temptations of Satan and of this world are unsatisfactory and of no real substance, they are fleeting and the joys that come from them are as short lived as a mirage. In the desert, people avoid mirages by drinking water and avoiding dehydration, in life: drinking the water of life - the Holy Spirit - will do the same. The water of life is renewing and replenishing and refreshing, the rewards of drinking of this water aren't limited to satisfying dehydration, but are endless and perfect. God's love that flows through this water is all consuming and warming, it will never run out or leave you unsatisfied.

There is no shame in feeling tempted, Christ came to the Earth as a perfect human being and faced temptation, so God knows what you're going through and how hard it might be to resist. But, next time you feel tempted, have strength; see the temptation as the mirage that it is; turn away from it and drink the water of life to dispel your dehydration and satisfy your thirst eternally through God, not temporarily through Satan and worldly things. Send the Devil away and move past his mirage, feeling a little less full of worldly satisfaction that is fleeting and short lived, and a little more full of God's spirit, which springs eternal and will satisfy all your needs.


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