Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Subject: Hit ‘Em
Good Morning Ethan & Emily:
Yesterday we learned that “running” from temptation is not a cowardly act …but, in fact, often the wisest thing to do. After I sent this to you, while driving to work, I had a flashback in memory of the summer I attended a drama workshop at Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos, TX. As I remember, I was in high school at the time, and I regularly participated in one-act play Interscholastic League competitions each Spring which were popular at that time. (Some time I must tell you about the time I shaved my head with a buzz cut…I was on the track team and did it for comfort!…an action which definitely panicked our drama teacher….or the time I came out on stage wearing a black tuxedo with my zipper down! Ha!…I even got special commendation from the judges for my “recovery.”)
In any case, this was my first time to attend such a workshop, and I met all kinds of students…most from much larger schools…certainly with more diverse backgrounds and liberal upbringings than what I had been exposed to. Since this was a poetry/drama type “crowd” this was my first exposure to the more socially liberal “drama mama” and “socially active” types. Certainly, some of those I met probably went on to become “flower children” later that decade. One evening we had a get together,and since I loved to dance, I was right in the middle of the action having a great time. Well, one of my partners was a long-haired “drama mama” type that latched onto me like a leech, and the look in her eyes and the degree to which she “melted” onto me….was more than I desired…or cared to handle. I don’t know what she had on her mind….but I know it was not what I felt comfortable with or wanted to explore. I remember leaving the party and walking…even running…back to my grandmother and grandfather McQuinn’s house several blocks away where I was staying. Can’t you just see me running down the street that night?? Most people would have thought I was stupid and I should have taken advantage of the situation, but I have never regretted what I did. If I had stayed, I might have done things that I would have regretted later.
Yesterday, we took note of Joseph and how he handled temptation. This morning, I would like us to take the example of Jesus and see just what He did when confronted and tempted by Satan in the 4th chapter of Luke.
Jesus had been in the wilderness for forty days, and when He was hungry and tired, Satan approached Jesus and tempted Him to do things…some of which like turning stones into bread that were not so bad in themselves but were not at the right time or for the right reasons for Jesus to comply. Others like bowing down and worshipping Satan were definitely wrong…but tempting…as Satan was offering to Jesus complete authority over all earthly kingdoms.
What did Jesus do? He could have destroyed Satan instantly and challenged his claims…but He responded by simply quoting Scripture…offering to all of us an example of how to ward off and nullify Satan’s attacks. These Scriptures…powerful in their own right…become even more powerful as we hurl them at Satan with the power and conviction of obedience in our own lives.
That Scripture can be such a powerful weapon against temptation was brought powerfully home to me for the first time while attending a Promise Keeper’s Rally in Boulder, CO, several years ago. One of the featured speakers was E.V. Hill from Los Angeles, pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. As E.V. spoke of this temptation passage in Luke 4, he summarized Jesus’ actions: “Jesus hit Satan right between the eyes with Scripture.” Summarizing this, he shouted to the over 50,000 men in attendance: “When tempted by anyone…anything…from any source…what do you do? You ‘Hit ’em'(with the Word)!” And then repeatedly asking: “What do you do, men, when you are tempted?”…we shouted in stadium-wide, thundering response: “Hit’ em!!!…Hit ’em” We did this over and over, back and forth until the message was firmly imprinted on the mind and heart of every man there that night. And after all these years, I still hear ringing in my mind and heart: “Hit ’em!”
May this truth reverberate through your consciousness when you are tempted!
So read God’s Word, store it up in your heart and be on guard…and ready…at a moment’s notice to: “Hit’ em!!” next time Satan or your own flesh tempts you to do what you know is not right. You bring glory to God Himself…as you take aim…and…
Hit ’em….Hit ’em….Hit ’em!!!
All my love,