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::Devotional:: ‘Resisting Arrest’

October 25, 2010

No I’m not in jail.  No I was not arrested.  Well, not arrested like you might be thinking.  Not by a police officer for breaking the law.  But I did resist arrest.  Confused yet?  I’m referring to being arrested, or taken captive by force, by the temptations of sin and resiting them as commanded by the word of God.  I am guility of resisting the arrest of a certain temptation that presented itself this weekend and I’m proud of it!

I wish I could say I resisted the arrest of all my temptations this weekend, but unfortunately that wouldn’t be true.  Some I fended off and others I crumbled under.  Like the scripture says, my spirit was willing by my flesh was so weak.

Resisting the arrest of temptation is not something that is going to come automatically to us.  It takes purpose and it takes effort.  I like to use the words fortitude and action because resistance means we have to be mentally and emotionally tough with a willingness to be physical.

This morning I want to highlight a young man in the bible who was guilty of resisting arrest; the arrest of temptation.  In Genesis 39 we come across the account of Joseph and Mrs. Potiphar, the original desperate housewife.  Through a series of events Joseph ended up as the house manager of an Egyptian official named Potiphar.  The bible describes Joseph as a well-built and handsome man which became very appealing to Mrs. Potiphar when Mr. Potiphar was away on long business trips.  It wasn’t long before her desires got the best of her and she began to proposition Joseph with sex. Daily.

“Come to bed with me!” 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.  Genesis 39:7-10

Talk about daily temptation, good grief.  Every day this woman presented herself to Joseph and every day he was able to resist arrest from that temptation.  Finally everything came to a head and she was passed the point of asking.  Her request gave way to a command.  She sent everyone in the house away so she could be alone with Joseph and she waited for him to come in.

11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 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 39:11-2

Fortitude and action, remember?  Joseph was mentally and emotionally able to resist temptation and took physical action when necessary to resist it as well.  He resisted arrest.

How was Joseph able to do this?  Not just once or twice, but daily.  I believe the answer is in his perspective of the temptation and the sin.  I believe Joseph respected himself enough not to engage in this temptation and along with that I believe his respect for Mr. and Mrs. Potiphar carried a lot of weight as well.  However, I believe the his respect and reverance for the Lord was his chief motivation in resisting arrest.  Notice his explanation to Mrs. Potiphar upon one of her early requests.

My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  Genesis 39:9

Joseph knew that this sin was ultimately against God and for that reason he resisted arrest.  His fortitude and his actions were motivated by his reverance for God.

You and I should seek to have that same perspective today.  Resist arrest from temptations that you will encounter today out of your love, respect, fear, and reverance for God.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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