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Temptations

July 07, 2016

TEMPTATIONS 

By GV Potter

The following post was written by a member of our fellowship.

 

The Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines temptation as, “Enticed to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain.” Temptation enters our lives through three doors: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” (1 John. 2:16). That’s how it entered the Garden of Eden, (Gen. 3:6). Lust is like a tiger—once uncaged it will prowl through your mind and prey on your thoughts. What it won’t do is willingly go back into its cage!  James 1:14 tells us, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his desires and enticed.”  Paul, the writer of 1 Corinthians 10:13, wants us to know that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  So when you see a way out, the choice is yours.  Choose wisely. Today Satan has no new tricks; he just dresses up the same old temptations in new attire.  We have become so desensitized by modern, everyday living that most of the time we don’t even realize we’re being tempted!

 

Ignorance of scripture is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against the believer. Several times he tempted Jesus, and he used scripture to do it, but he didn’t prevail because Jesus knew what God’s Word said…and what it didn’t say.  Clearly we need to know “The whole counsel of God,” (Acts 20:27).  Paul writes, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Paul also commended the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “When you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”  Take notice the order in which this was given: God’s Word must first work in you before it works for you.

 

All our efforts to resist temptations will be weak and ineffective, unless we are empowered by the Holy Spirit through constant hearing, reading, studying and applying God’s Word in our lives.  Then, and only then are you “transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Rom. 12:2). There is no other weapon as powerful against temptation as “the sword of the Spirit,” which is the Word of God, (Eph. 6:17). “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth,” (Col. 3:2). If our minds are filled with the latest T.V. shows, music, and all that culture has to offer, we will be bombarded with messages and images that lead us in the wrong direction.  When you can recall who stars in what movie or sitcom, or can name the score between two teams that played last month, but are unable to quote or bring to mind a single verse from the Bible, you seriously need to rethink your priorities, as the ladder you’ve been climbing is leaning against the wrong wall!  Without God’s Word on our mind, we are open to any thing Satan wants to throw at us. He can only determine the outcome of a situation with your permission and cooperation, and you don’t have to give them to him.  You must realize that the key to overcoming temptations is found by submitting to God, living in daily dependence on Him, and resisting the Devil’s crafty offers. This is validated in James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The Devil is aware of his limited time, and that is the reason why he is intensifying his evil works.  Likewise, Christians should also be aware of the shortness of life, and not waste their time but, use their lives and God-given resources to spread the Gospel of Christ. Praise the Lord, He chose us to be on the winning side!

 

Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to make you more self-controlled, and understand that our human senses are unreliable in guarding us from temptations.  Make self-control your friend and embrace it each day as a tool given to you by God’s Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Satan knows that when you understand he is the source of your temptations, he loses his advantage, “For we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11).  When we do, God develops our character, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. “But let patience have its perfect work, that you will be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-3). This enables us to become men and women of mature Christian character.  Withstanding temptation is to “Fight the good fight of faith,” (1 Tim. 6:12).  

 

Stand on this scriptural promise in Hebrews 10:35-36, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” So keep on being confident and patient, and you will succeed. It will please God and you will be given what He promised.

 

Be mindful that as a Christian, God has given you the power inside to overcome any temptation you’re facing right now; you just need to tap into it. God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” (Ephesians 3:20).  You can add this to God’s glorious guarantee: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him,” (James 1:12).               

 



COMMENTS
By Pastor Dave Berg
This devotional is key to understanding and overcoming the warfare we face daily as believers. Good job Gary!
By Pastor Dave Berg
Good Job Gary!
By Phyllis Freyaldenhoven
Thank you Gary. This really helped me realize there are all kinds of temptation and Satan knows mine. He delights in placing these stumbling blocks in my pathway. Being assured the Holy Spirit guards me against such temptations is so comforting. I continue to pray, pray, pray and seek His will for my life through the Holy Scriptures.
By Pastor Andy Michaels
Inspiring and encouraging advice pointing us to the truth, the word of God. Thank you Gary for reminding us and exhorting us to live a spirit led and fulfilled life as God desires for His people.
By Lisa Vessell
Thank you Mr. Potter for these inspired words and reminders of the life we are called to live in faith. This is spot on. Lord help us apply these words to our lives, in love and obedience to Your word, by power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name and all for Your glory. Amen
By Julie Waltenburg
Thank you, Gary. Your blog made me think and ponder God's Word, not only as it applies to our own temptation, but how we as Christians can be used as God's instrument for good to others.
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