He loved golf. Playing several times a week, with customers of course, he had honed a single-digit handicap game. One Saturday, mid-day play was especially slow. The foursome was on pace for about a six-hour round. Waiting to hit his approach shot, he had a “What are you doing here Elijah?” moment (1Kings 19:13). He was missing his son’s ballgame and now would probably be late for family dinner time as well.
Being tempted is not of God but is part of life. Football season, hunting season, baseball playoffs, the Internet, cell phones, work demands, volunteer work, sports interests, hobbies and even kids’ activities can demand an inordinate amount of time. The temptation is to allow time doing stuff to push out right priorities around the building of relationships. BUSY-ness can show up in many forms but it always stands for Being Under Satan’s Yoke.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. – 1Corinthians 10:12-13. Paul calls the Corinthians to “take heed” – to pay attention, take notice and be mindful of how evil works. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man;” – Like the frog in the pot, it may be sitting down to watch a ballgame or taking care of some office work on a Saturday. Then it progresses to watching a few ballgames every weekend or spending an evening answering office emails. You are provided “the way of escape” but it requires recognizing the devil’s scheme against you, setting appropriate boundaries and then refusing to go there. The devil is the antithesis of the relationship we are called to have with Jesus the Christ, live in marriage and reflect in family. Rebuke the tempter and prioritize relationships that glorify God.
The dad made the decision to retire from golf. He used the time to get more involved in the kids’ interests and engage with his family. Sundays were now free to go to church as a family, evenings included dinner together most nights and the occasional weekend family outing was put on the calendar. The wake-up call on the golf course reminded the dad he only had a handful of years before his kids would be leaving home. The priority was to invest time in his marriage and with the kids, not his golf game.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and for the “What are you doing here Elijah” moment. It was a wakeup call reminding me of what right priorities are. Too often I have let work and other selfish activities dominate my calendar and given the time left to my family. Forgive me. Guide me in setting the boundaries needed to rebuke the tempter and prioritize the relationships You have blessed me with in marriage and family. Help me lead by example and pass the baton of faith well to the next generation. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
A faithful father rebukes the tempter and prioritizes relationships that glorify God.