A smile began to creep onto my lips as He calmed me and reminded me that this was spiritual, that I could jump into the pasture of temptation, allowing offense and anger to draw me away into full blown sin, but what good would that do? It was only a rectangular spot on the pavement after all. Was that parking spot really worth the sin? Was it worth giving offense and anger real estate in my heart, taking it away from love, His love?
14But every person is tempted when he is drawn away,
enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).
15Then the evil desire, when it has conceived,
gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.
I found myself situated at our table mere feet from the man who seemed to be the source of my arising emotional uproar. While I sat on the front lines of this battle and my husband was at the counter ordering our food, the stranger sat comfortably at his table, oblivious to the arising turmoil within me. As he appeared to enjoy every morsel of his food, my thoughts went to, “He’s all alone. Why was he in such a hurry? It doesn’t even look like he had anyone to meet. Yeah, that’s right! You hear that Mister? You were wrong!”
And my teeth clinched.
Then it hit, realization of the battle.
Temptation was dangling its goods in front of me, and it mirrored very closely a scenario that had been painted in a recent writing of mine. How funny is that?!
My flesh screamed, “He took your spot! It was unfair! He knew to wait his turn for that coveted parking spot, especially in Hawaii – the land of teeny tiny and few parking spaces, but he didn’t. He jumped into that deliciously open spot when it was your poor family’s turn for the next spot. That’s just not right.”
The counsel of the Holy Spirit begged to differ with my argument.
My conclusion was no. Through somewhat still clinched teeth I whispered a prayer for this man, this “enemy” of mine….and I was free. I was determined not to be enticed, and the Lord’s strength had indeed set me free. Temptation had been defeated by Jesus, the situation was settled.
The end result? We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co., and another mark of victory had been placed in the Lord’s camp for this disciple. He is good! His love endures forever.