The primary text for today’s lesson was Numbers 21:4-9. The author did an amazing job illuminating how this passage can relate to our desire to overcome sinful eating habits and experience victory in our lives. He used many other passages as well and then summarized as follows:

So to summarize the passages we have read today, we are to look to Jesus to save us, to eradicate sin in our lives, to strengthen us for the battle, to defeat all our enemies, to release us from the trap of sin, to restore us and give us grace, to enable us to be victorious. See why focusing on Christ is so important? (TLT, p. 70)

I have mentioned in previous entries that I had gotten things backwards…that I was waiting until the temptation comes to think that I am to cling to Christ. Truthfully, clinging to and feasting on Christ is to be a way of life, permeating the moments of each day.

BUT, this lesson brought home to my heart the fact that in the moment, when temptation is ever before me, this IS, indeed, a moment to FOCUS on him as well.

Just last night, I wish I had applied these truths. I was watching a movie with the family–we had enjoyed a wonderful time together all day and were winding down before bed. I had a thought of leftover apple pie, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. I wasn’t hungry. I just wanted it. I battled with the temptation for a while. But I kept trying to pull my thoughts off of the ice cream. There it is again…that old “Do NOT think about a pink elephant” syndrome! (Try it…right now…do NOT think of a pink elephant…and what do you think of? :-))

So the more I tried NOT to think about the pie that I wanted to eat, the more I thought about it. Until, sadly, I gave in!

This lesson today reminded me (you would think I wouldn’t need so many reminders!!!) that I was focusing on the strength of the army against me…on the temptation, on the sinful option if you will. My vision was filled with what I was NOT to go after.

What I should have done in the moment is focus on Christ. Look up and see the serpent on the pole…Jesus took on all my sin and shame. The perfect, blameless son of God, the Glory of Heaven who became man, who knew no sin became sin for me so that in Him I might become the righteousness of God. Like the Israelites in the passage from Numbers, had I chosen to look on Christ, to focus on HIM, the author and perfector of my faith, I know that the lure of the pie would have diminished. Instead I tried NOT to think of the pie.

See the difference?

On the cross, Jesus took the lethal bite of the serpent, became sin and died for us. As we are looking at Him to cure us, over time we will discover that overeating loses it’s appeal and we are cured. (TLT, p. 68)

So while it is true that I want to feast on the Lord, His Word and pray throughout the moments of my life–not just wait until I am tempted–it is also true that when I *am* tempted, I MUST choose to focus not on trying NOT to sin, but on the Lord, on Jesus. As I focus on HIM, the appeal of sin will diminish.

Lord, please help me to be willing to have you change me in the moment. Change my “want to” so that in the moment I *want* to think on you and be transformed. Take my moments Lord…and be Lord in the moments today. When I am tempted, please help me not to try to grit my teeth and garner up the will-power not to sin, but, instead, cause me to fix my eyes on you. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
Then the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.