When the Tempter Knocks

A few years ago, my husband and I enjoyed a little getaway. While Ken was running an errand, a man knocked on the door of our hotel room. I looked through the peephole and saw that he had a red sweater on, which to me symbolized “employee,” so I turned the knob.

But the man was not a hotel employee.

Through my cracked door, he asked cheerfully, “Are you affordable?”

I looked at him blankly for a moment before the implication of his question registered. Was I affordable? “NO!” I spewed the word with all the disgust I could muster. I could see a flicker of surprise on his face as I slammed the door between us.

I stood stunned, behind my locked hotel room door. Had this just happened? Had a man just asked me if I was affordable? Fuming, I began pacing around the room, ranting:

Am I affordable? Well I suppose that depends on a few things. Are you prepared to support me for the rest of my life, financially, emotionally, and spiritually? And what about my three kids? Are you available for their games, their bedtime routines, their tears, and their struggles? What about their college tuition?

And you ready to be the one I call every time I’m angry, upset, sad, or depressed? Will you be the kind of wise, reliable, godly friend that I can trust without reservation? Are you planning to love me, and only me, for the rest of my life? Because the man who shares a hotel room with me better be prepared to handle all of that.

Am I affordable? My husband thinks I am, but it will take all he’s got. And since I’ve given him all that I’ve got, it works out well. That’s what sharing a bed is supposed to be about—giving all that you are and nothing less!

No, I’m not affordable. No one is—not outside of marriage. To suggest that you can rent someone by the hour drastically cheapens them and diminishes the dignity they deserve.

Even having someone ask me if I was affordable was outrageously offensive. How dare he.

Surprised by Shame

But mixed with my indignation, I detected another emotion that surprised me: shame.

I considered not telling anyone about the man who had come to my door. I was somehow compelled to keep it a secret, even from my husband. I realized how foolish this sounded. I had done nothing wrong. I had been offended, not offensive. Yet still, there was a nagging feeling of shame.

Obviously, since I’m writing about it, I didn’t go through with keeping the little split-second event a secret. Instead I picked up the phone and called my husband immediately, saying, “Come back right now!”

When the Tempter Knocks

All of this reminds me of what Satan does when he comes knocking. If we’ve listened to the world long enough, or if our spirit has been crushed, sometimes Satan’s propositions don’t seem as outlandish or evil as they actually are.

Pornography. Stealing. Alcoholism. Rage. Affairs. Cutting. Promiscuity. Deception. Each of these lead to bondage and heartache. And each one is incredibly unfitting for the Bride of Christ.

I belong to Jesus. I am loved and cherished. In fact, loving me took everything He had. He laid His life down just to have me. Then He rose again and conquered every threat set against me. My future is secure, and I have nothing to fear. Jesus wants to be the first one I turn to when I am angry, upset, sad, or depressed. And I can trust His counsel without reservation. Jesus will never leave me or forsake me.

So when the enemy of my soul approaches me with his counterfeit propositions, asking if I am “affordable,” I should be appalled and disgusted. I should slam the door in outrage. I have been bought with the price of Jesus’ shed blood! My heart is not for sale. To suggest that my affections could be “rented” is offensive. I belong to Christ! I have dignity and priceless worth because of Him.

The Second Knock

But what about when I do let the enemy in? What about when I do love sin rather than my sinless Savior? What about when I betray my Lord and turn to Satan’s counterfeits to find the satisfaction my heart craves? What then? Do I deserve the shame that follows?

Like clockwork, Satan follows up temptation with shame. He knocks first with an invitation to sin, then he circles back around with blame. He points a bony finger of contempt at the very offense he was crass enough to suggest in the first place.   

This, of course, is all part of his plan to undo me. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to steal my joy. Kill my hope. And destroy my future. So he comes delivering shame.

How am I to respond to that second knock on the door? Should I hang my head, accept the shame, and allow Satan to add another set of handcuffs?

No way! Satan may want to ruin my life, but Jesus came that I might have life to the full (John 10:10)!

Shield of Faith

When Satan says, “How could you?” my response should be, “How dare you?”

To come at the Bride of Christ with shame is just as unbefitting as tempting her to be unfaithful. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). None. Not from God, not from Satan, not from myself or anybody else.

This doesn’t stop Satan from trying to bury me in shame, of course. If I’ve opened the door to sin, I can expect a second knock, delivering the blame. But in both instances, faith is what forms my shield.

Will I accept what Satan says about me? Will I trust his propositions? Will I be defined by his accusations? Or will I trust my faithful Lord and Savior, who stands at the right hand of God interceding for me (Rom. 8:34), who calls me holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4), and says that nothing can separate me from His love (Rom. 8:39)?

Satan will come knocking. I shouldn’t be surprised when he does. But for him to even ask if I am affordable is outrageously offensive. I belong to Jesus. His love is what protects me from both temptation and shame.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19–20).

How is Satan tempting you to deny Christ? What is he shaming you about? What is one truth from Jesus that you will hold up as a shield?  

About the Author

Shannon Popkin

Shannon Popkin

Shannon Popkin is happy to be sharing life with her husband, Ken, and together they have the joy of watching their three young-adult kids become the amazing people God created them to be. From the platform, page, and podcast mic, … read more …

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