Go on…take it. No one is around to see you…….Take a peek, its won’t cause any harm if you just look at it……..Its really nice outside, maybe you should call in sick today and enjoy yourself.
Temptations. They seem to follow us wherever we go. The world and its enticements can be found around every corner and we give ourselves lots of excuses to follow them, all born out of the temptations instilled within us by a crafty devil who is very good at his job.
Temptations have been around since the dawn of time when the devil slithered his way to Eve. It’s the #1 tool in the demon belt and it works on us like a charm. We continue to think we can “…walk on hot coals without (our) feet being scorched” (Proverbs 6:28). And, even though we fail time and time again, we continue in our folly as if, next time, things will be different.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 26:41 to, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” It’s not as if we don’t know this or understand it. It’s more that we choose to turn that warning sign off when it serves our evil desires.
As a result, we fall into temptation and that leads us to sin. Temptation in itself is not sin but the act it leads you too very well may be. We can be tempted to good things and follow up on that which is all good and well. Sometimes temptations can be a blessing.
But when temptations lead you to things that will separate you from God, then they are the kinds of temptation you want to avoid at all costs. Temptations to sin only come from the evil one and they have no goodness in them. We might try to convince ourselves that cheating on our spouses is ultimately saving our marriages or that ignoring our responsibility to those in need only helps those that have a passion for it, but its still based on lies instilled from the father of lies.
God knew that after the fall, the devil would be hard at work, whispering in our ears, trying to pull us off the narrow path to salvation. He also knew that, because of sin, we would be weak in our defense of his efforts. So, purely out of Godly mercy and love, our Lord provided us a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says it best, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
No temptation is insurmountable, though it might seem to be at the time. But to overcome we must shed our pride and our worldliness. We must trust in God and take His direction. We must come to Him in prayer with a willing heart to do what we must. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).
When we are tempted, we are asked by God to have the same attitude as the Psalmist who said, “All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you” (Psalm 38:9). To avoid temptations, we must have an honest relationship with both ourselves and with God. Its never too late and God will never give up on you. He simply waits with open arms for you to accept His invitation for help.
So, understand that temptations will come, both good and bad. While undergoing the ones that lead to sin, take a step back and let God give you the strength you need to avoid them. It probably won’t happen overnight, but with enough patience and enough trust, you will overcome, if your honest with yourself and sincere in your efforts. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – and yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, keep us from temptation and deliver us from evil. Forgive us for the many times we have fallen into it and help us to overcome. Amen.