For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
– 2 Corinthians 11:2-3
This passage is taken from the apostle Paul’s second letter to the believers in Corinth – one of the chief cities of first-century Greece.
Notice that Paul is warning these believers that temptation is as old as humanity itself – that they can be tempted in Corinth just as Eve was tempted in the Garden of Eden. However, the Corinthians have something Eve did not – for one thing, Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. And we have even more than the Corinthians; we have the complete Bible. Therefore, we have substantial warning – in writing – about the temptations we will face every day. There’s no reason we should be caught by surprise.
Notice where Paul says temptation begins: in the mind. That is, it’s our thoughts that do us in. It’s not actually other people who are the problem – it’s our thoughts. And what are the thoughts that are bad? Those that lead us astray from the path of devotion to Christ.
Devotion to Christ means being the kind of mother, father, sister, brother, employee, and supervisor that He wants us to be. He is love – so He uses our devotion to Him to benefit the people around us. This devotion we should have toward Him is not something we should complicate – it should be simple. It’s not something we should counterfeit – it should be pure. The simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ is something from which the world is seeking to lead you astray. Make up your mind today to defy the world by steadfastly maintaining a simple and pure devotion to Christ – turning the other cheek and laying down your life as a servant. This is the way Jesus lived; it’s the example He set for us.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth.)
Lord, I want to devote this day to You – to Your hopes and dreams, Your desires for me and for those for whom I am responsible…(being quiet before Him)… Amen.