Identifying My Temptations

I left off on my last post (Wresting with Jacob + Israel—Logopraxis) with the lasting impression that temptations are ongoing and a necessary part of my regeneration; asking myself how am I recognizing, acknowledging, and handling my temptations? Am I trying to fight them on my own, which when I'm honest with myself leads to failure every time? Or am I asking for the Lord's help?

The first thing I think I need to do is recognize what my temptations are. What are those thoughts and actions in my daily life that are contrary to loving the Lord—being a good neighbor? I'm speaking of more than just the obvious temptations like punching someone or robbing a bank. I mean the subtle ones. The thoughts that sneak up on you like feeling prideful, criticizing someone harshly, gossiping or taking part in a rumor, or posting a snarky remark on Facebook. I might be guilty of one or more of these—the subtle ones that is—I can truthfully say, I've never punched someone or robbed a bank. Although, in third grade, I did kick a girl for stealing my jumprope on the playground.

But I digress...

Getting back to Logopraxis...what does AC 4283 tell me about temptations? How does it offer me a plan of action and the hope of success?

LOGOPRAXIS CONTINUED

Now that I've read the text and taken note of what made an impression upon me, my next steps are to select and highlight a particular portion of the text from all those that I've noted. Focus on what single principle of all those highlighted sections really jumps out for me. Give this step my complete attention and allow the Lord to guide my decision.

The passage that clings to me is AC 4283 and reads as follows:

[1] ‘He said, Let me go, for the dawn is coming up’ means that the temptation came to an end when the joining together was at hand. This is clear from the meaning of ‘letting me go’ – that is to say, ‘give up wrestling with me’ – as the ending of the temptation (for ‘wrestling’ means temptation, see above in 4274; and the fact that it did come to an end is evident from what follows); and from the meaning of ‘the dawn’ as the joining of natural good, meant by ‘Jacob’, to the celestial-spiritual, that is, to the Divine good of truth, also dealt with above in 4275.
[2] The reason why the wrestling began before the dawn came up and why it finished after it came up, and why what happened when the sun had risen is mentioned after that, is that the times of day, like the seasons of the year, mean states, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3785. At present the state of conjunction effected by temptations is meant; for when the joining of the internal man to the external takes place it is ‘dawn’ to him, because at that time he enters a spiritual or a celestial state. At that time also light like that at dawn is seen by him, if his state is such that he is able to observe it. What is more, the understanding part of his mind receives light and becomes for him like the experience of waking up in the morning from sleep, when dawn first sheds her light and starts off the day.

So I've chosen my text (highlighted in orange), and now Step Four asks me to draw a principle or truth from that section—something to work with. Then develop a task from which to build my spiritual understanding of the text. As Reverend Millar says, "These Sacred Texts on every turn provide us with descriptions of spiritual laws or principles that govern the operation of the spiritual world or (in Logopraxis terms) states of the human mind."

What Spiritual Principle can I extract from the highlighted text above?

Hell, through temptations, is relentless in its pursuit of my mind. Temptations are on-going. But giving them over to the Lord offers me hope. In doing so, a state of conjunction or union takes place that is like waking from a deep sleep—a conscious awakening within my understanding, and an integral step in my regeneration.

The Lord took on and overcame unimaginable temptations so that we may be saved. This was His purpose in coming—to save us—so that the human race could join Him in Heaven.

From this principle, the Logopraxis Life Group participants are asked to develop a task—"a specific hook that will keep us attached to the given text in the context of our everyday life."* As a means of assisting us in these efforts, we have been given the following Verb Primers to help us identify a task. My task is...

  • identify the quality of…
  • be aware of (when)…
  • to reflect on…
  • to accept and consciously acknowledge…
  • to observe my tendency to…
  • to internally decline…
  • to notice…
  • to take note of…
  • do I like the idea of…
  • to cultivate an awareness of…
  • to reflect on experiences where…
  • how do I (seek)…
  • to work to …
  • what is the…
  • bring my attention to…
  • observe the degree of…
  • remember to ask the question “…”
  • observe any shift when this truth is remembered…
  • to become aware of and refrain from…
  • what is my inner attitude to…

I have highlighted to become aware of and refrain from as my primer, and I complete the sentence with giving in to my temptations, no matter how subtle and "minor" they may seem. So my task is to become aware of and refrain from giving in to my temptations. Ask for the Lord's guidance and to recognize and do His will in all things great and small.


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