‘…before the ‘gods’ I will sing your praise.’ Psalm 138.1
The trouble with temptation is that it is so attractive! The whole point about it is that we have a strong desire to veer in a certain chosen direction - that is what makes it temptation! At times our temptations can become so strong that they seem like a force drawing us to them, almost like small ‘gods’. What can we do about this?
Praying for strength must be a key part of it, but it is the way we pray that can make a difference. If we pray out of desperation, the likelihood is that we remained focused on the problem, and with our eyes firmly fixed on the temptation it does not seem to go away. However if we learn to sing God’s praises before the ‘gods’, just like the psalmist, then something quite different happens.
When we put our focus on the wonder of the one whom we are praising, not only does our vision of him grow but we also find we are able to take our attention off the temptation that has been so all-consuming.
If you feel worried or tempted by something, why not try it right now? Stop thinking about what concerns you and instead begin to praise God, either in words or song. You will soon discover that there is one in you who is greater than anything in this world.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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