It flew from one end of the room to the other. It was alert, filled with energy and speed. No one seemed to be able to get hold of it. The fly was having a good run, escaping all our traps until its buzzing annoyance could no longer be heard. It was oblivious to us what had happened to the fly. No one cared; we were just happy it no longer offended us.
Moments later, a small black object was hanging from the ceiling. To our surprise, it was the fly, caught in a web. Initially my thoughts were, “serves you right!” but on closer inspection, I became disappointed in the fly’s response. He did very little to help himself escape the trap. Only one strand of the web had caught the fly but it just gave in without a fight to escape.
Webs are made of silk which has adhesive properties used as a mechanism for catching its prey. The web of temptation awaits us. We are often tempted by our desires. Hence, the devil constantly presents these things in our path. James chapter, verse 14 says “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
Peter said he, “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, (1 Peter chapter 5, verses 8-9). Satan knows our weaknesses and always tries to lure us to the web of temptation. He knew that Jesus was hungry and so he tempted Him with His immediate desire, which was food. He also knew that most men find women irresistible and cannot say no to having their desires fulfilled, so he used Potiphar’s wife to try and ‘minister’ to this need for Joseph.
The web of temptation is always being placed in various areas of our lives. Similar to the spider web, it is not always visible to us. It lurks in places and things we do not anticipate. Many times I walk by a web and it is only when I feel it touching me that I am made aware of its presence.
For example, if your weakness is watching pornography, then while browsing for pictures of bedrooms, you might find pornographic pictures that will cause you to stray. This is how Satan sets the bait and awaits his prey.
Escaping the web
Like the fly, man prefers the easy way out since giving in requires significantly less effort. The truth is, we are not as defenseless as we sometimes think. The human body is an amazing mechanism. It produces a hormone called adrenaline which responds to perceived stimulus.
“Adrenaline has several effects which are designed to help you cope with danger. It makes the heart beat faster, supplying oxygen to your brain and muscle more quickly. This gives them more energy for fighting or running away.” (Chinnery Louis, et al, 2001, CXC Biology Third Edition, Cambridge University Press.)
The Bible teaches a similar approach for us to apply when faced with temptation. It teaches us to fight or to flee temptation.
We as Christians must put on the whole armor of God, so that we can stand against the tricks of the devil. Our weapon in this armor is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. We must know the word of God to cut asunder the silky thread that endeavors to grip the vulnerable areas of our lives. Jesus used the Word when he was tempted by the devil.
After Jesus ended His fasting of forty days, the devil came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered immediately and said, “it is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,’ ” ( Matthew chapter 4, verse 4). On each account of temptation mentioned, Jesus always used the Word as His defense.
We need to model Jesus’ response so that we can reap the same results. Studying the word of God strengthens our ammunition to fight the enemy. David said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”
Joseph demonstrated the principle of running away when he was tempted to fornicate with Potiphar’s wife. “She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (Genesis chapter 39, verse 12). His defense was flight.
For Joseph, fighting would have been dangerous in the given situation. Consequently, he chose the best way out, that is, running. Running for us could mean turning off the television or it could mean finding another route where we will not see certain persons to gossip with. Often, the best method of combat is to run.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”(1 Corinthians chapter 10, verses 13-14)
Let us not give in when we are caught in the web of temptation or allow the presence of the web to intimidate us. But, let us request help from God and do what the Bible has instructed us to do. Fight for your life or Run for your life and remember that God will make a way of escape for you.
Kerry-Ann is a wife, mother, and retired High School Mathematics teacher who loves to write Christian meditations and lead the youth in Bible study. She is a passionate worship leader and a youth ministry coordinator at her church. Currently, she is a member of the Christian Game Development Conference pursuing her vision of creating industry standard Christian entertainment.