I encourage you to see temptation for what it really is
Temptation in and of itself is neutral. However, its desire to lead you away from God is far from neutral. Temptation is heavily weighted by all our spiritual enemies against both the Christian and God.
Universally, temptation has simple objectives. First, it seeks to grow disbelief in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Secondly, it strives to normalise sinful behaviour so that you will be desensitised to the offense that sin is to Holy God. Thirdly, it wants you to think that sin is the only thing that will bring you pleasure in this life, making eternity and ultimate judgment of no significance.
Temptation is typically a liar, endeavouring to convince you that there will be no negative consequences for its proposed pleasures. It’s a social manipulator, meaning it uses the apparent pleasure that others are having without any visible consequences, as evidence that there is no God and no penalty for sin. It’s a deceptive diverter, focusing your attention on others faults, thereby making you look better to yourself.
Make no mistake; temptation only wants one thing of you, to do sin. It settles for nothing less than total domination and absolute mastery. Give it an inch, and it will take your whole life and soul. That harmless little misdemeanour quickly grows to be a soul devouring monster. Its direction is always downhill, into greater and more consuming sin that will blind you. It dulls your spiritual and moral senses, which is a great strategy since its goal is death to your soul.
Doctor Luke’s Witness
Doctor Luke describes the time when Jesus was “being tempted by the devil” in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). Here’s a few helpful observations:
- :2 Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, where temptation would take place .
- :2 The devil tempted Jesus when He was at a physical low due to having nothing to eat for 4 days.
- :3 The devil spoke in plain language, so that Jesus understand clearly what the allurement to sin was.
- :4,8,12 Jesus’ reply to the devil for each temptation was with God’s Word. Scripture alone is authoritative against demonic attach.
- :5 The devil took Jesus to places where he could use the most appealing enticements in the temptations.
- :4-7 The devil clearly had one simple desire for Jesus, and he was happy to give a whole bunch of earthly things as a bribe. “And the devil took him (Jesus) up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, to you I will give all this authority and their glory… If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
- :7 Giving into temptation is an act of worship to Satan, and he knows it, even if we don’t.
- :10 The devil will happily use Christians, Church, even Scripture, in his attempts to lure you into sin.
- :13 The devil, knowing that he had failed, departed. His intention was to look for another opportunity to seduce Jesus. He’s a relentless and tireless enemy with no moral compass to hold him back from seeking your destruction. Once he thinks that he knows your fleshly weakness, he will persist at that soft spot in his endeavour to seduce you.
Today, be encouraged to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). See today’s temptations as the nightmare they really are!
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz