Are You Struggling With Temptaion?
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations.” (James 1 v 2)
Readers please note the word temptation as used in the above scripture refers to trials or testing. It does not mean an enticement to do evil. Although God tests us, he never provokes us to sin.
Many people who have become believers in Jesus Christ, often wonder why they still have temptations? Does God tempt them? God tests individuals, but he does not tempt them by trying to seduce them into sin. However, God allows Satan to tempt individuals, in order to refine their faith, attitude, character and to develop their dependence upon Him!
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”
Temptation comes from evil desires within and not from God. It begins with an evil thought. It then becomes sin when we dwell on the thought and allow it to become an action. It is easy to blame others and make excuses for evil thoughts and wrong actions.
Excuses may include:-
It is the other person’s fault.
I could not help it.
Everybody else is doing it.
It was just a mistake.
Nobody is perfect.
The Devil made me do it.
I was pressured into doing it.
I did not know that it was wrong.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4 v 1)
This temptation by Satan shows us that Jesus Christ was human, and it gave Jesus the opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan and purpose for His life. Secondly it provides Christians an example to follow when we are tempted. Jesus temptation was an important demonstration of His sinlessness. He would face temptation and not give in.
This time of testing showed that Jesus Christ, really was the Son of God, able to overcome Satan and his temptations. A person has not shown true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey! We too will be tested. Because testing is part of the Christian journey, we must be alert and ready for it. Remember, your convictions are only as strong as they hold up under pressure.
Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness where he was tired, alone and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. Satan sometimes tempts us when we are under physical, spiritual or emotional stress ( for example, lonely, tired, weighing and contemplating big decisions, or faced with uncertainty). But Satan also likes to tempt us through our strengths where we are susceptible to pride. We must guard at all times against his attacks/strategies and devices. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, therefore do not leave a door open to him. CLOSE EVERY DOOR!
Satan’s temptations focused on three crucial areas:-
1. Physical desire
2. Possessions and power
“Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4 v 13)
Jesus Christ’s defeat of Satan in the wilderness was decisive but not final. Throughout His ministry, Jesus would confront Satan in many forms. Similarly, too often Christians see temptation as once and for all. In reality, we need to be constantly on guard against the devil’s ongoing attacks. Where are you most susceptible to temptation right now? How are you preparing to withstand it?