It's something every believer faces, well, for that matter, it is something every human faces: Temptation. Some fight to resist, some quickly give in, and others face it head on! And, like any battle, preparations must be made in order to stand in the presence of temptation. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:13, "Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." So, how do we stand? How do you and I go about being prepared for the temptations that we know Satan will throw before us?
Joseph (Old Testament) shows every believer how to stand. First, there must be a determination of spirit. In Genesis 39:7-10, temptation is thrust upon Joseph, as Potiphar's wife attempts to seduce him. However, verse 9-10 tell us Joseph's words to her; "There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her." Did you notice something. Joseph did not say being with her would be a sin against her husband. No, it was a sin against God. Before the temptation even presented itself, Joseph had a determination that refused to sin against His God! It's also called integrity! It was Joseph's desire to not even be in the same room as Potiphar's wife, because he knew, in her presence, there was temptation to sin against God, and He wanted nothing to do with it! There is a lesson for you and I. You must be determined, knowing that temptation is on the way, that you will not sin against God!
Also in Joseph, there is the powerful presence of God. In verse 3, the Bible tells us, "And his master saw that the Lord was with Him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand". Did you notice that? The presence of the Lord was seen in Joseph. It wasn't just talked about, it was seen. It wasn't just thought of, it was seen! Even when falsely accused, and thrown into prison, verse 23 tells us, "...the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper." See, Joseph's determination, preparation and personal integrity kept him from temptation, because the power and presence of God in His life!
I wonder, in times of temptation, can the same be said of you and me? Would people say "I see the Lord's presence with him", or "I see that the Lord is with her"? So often, we stumble in times of temptation because we aren't prepared when the time comes. May Joseph's thought be our thoughts: "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God"!