Sep 26, 2005

Temptation and a Focus on Jesus

Temptations come in all forms. It's not just the "cute blonde with blue eyes" walking down the street in skimpy clothes that can tempt a man to stumble and fall. Lately I have struggled in other ways, but today the temptation came in a financial form.

We are selling our house and have a contract set to close on September 30, 2005. The buyers have had to work hard to get a mortgage company that will work with them because they are from South Africa and are on work visas. However, they have been working hard to buy our house at a very fair price. The problem is that we have no guarantee that they will be able to close the deal because of the mortgage company.

Today a man came and looked at our house. His agent called our agent with a cash offer close to our current offer, but guaranteed. They want to close in a week and want to be first in line, jumping ahead of our current buyers. Our agent said it is possible to do, but she didn't think it was right and said it could cause some problems.

For me, praise God, it was no problem. We have a contract with people who are trying their hardest to buy the house. There is no room for closing this deal to pursue another one. That would be wrong. Any counsel to the contrary would be nothing less than ungodly. God warmed my heart with the following verse:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalm 1 NKJV)

I need no guarantee of a sale. I have the guarantee of my God. Not for the sale of my house, but that He is able to do anything (Matthew 19.26) and that He guarantees me of my inheritance:
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1.13-14 NKJV)

I do not need a guarantee of a sale of my house. That is not His promise to me. His promise to me is an eternal one. This house is temporary. When I focus on Jesus and His counsel, the mere sale of a house being guaranteed is no temptation at all- whether thousands of dollars hang in the balance or not.


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