Temptation! We all can relate to temptation. We all share the topic in common. We have all been tempted. Temptation had its first appears in Genesis with Adam and Eve. We know the story all to well. They listened to the voice of temptation and gave themselves over to its seductive call.
Temptation is a serious subject. Temptation seeks to lead you away from THE WAY.
Temptation is the invitation to let go of the hand of God and follow your own way. However, there are two things I want you to know up front.
1. There has never been a temptation without an exit sign close by.
2. God will help you escape the temptation if you don’t let go of His hand
When I was a young man one of my jobs was to feed the cows hay. It was a cold and raining January and my Father reminded me, I needed to take care of my job right after school. Because it had been raining for days, he warned me not to take the tractor through the big muddle puddle, but instead take a new path he has made for us. He looked at me and said it really slow and deliberate. “Son, don’t take the old path through the mud, take the new one I’ve made for you. You will get stuck if you go the old way.”
After school, I jumped on the tractor and went about my business. I came to the mud, and the temptation was right there smiling at me. It was speaking to me. “Go for it! You can make it through this little bit of mud on that big tractor.” I thought to myself, that’s right! This is a big tractor. This tractor can make it through with no problem at all. My Dad is just wrong about this. I can do this.
Now before I finish the story, remember what I said earlier. Temptation is the invitation to let go of the hand of God and follow your own way.
Well, as you might imagine I went for it. The front wheels went in the mud and came out. The back wheels went in the mud, and they came out. I won! I did it! I went on to feed the cows and on the way back temptation said, “Do it again.” The front wheels went in and came out. The back wheels went in…THEY DIDN’T COME OUT!
When we give in to temptation, we must let go of the hand of God because temptation is the invitation to let go of the hand of God and follow your own way.
So, what does the bible say about temptation?
➢ Where does it comes from?
➢ How do we deal with it?
➢ Does God understand our struggle with it?
James 1:13-14 (ESV)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
➢ God doesn’t temp. We have a tempter.
➢ We fall to temptation when we let go of God’s hand and follow our own way.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
➢ You are not going through a temptation no one has ever faced
➢ God’s faithfulness sets a limit- His power of love can always be found in the middle of your temptation.
➢ He Will provide and exit.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
God can sympathize with you. He understands your weaknesses.
Matthew 3:16-17 (ESV)
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 4:1 (ESV)
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
I love the fact that Jesus faced temptation and won on a personal level. He was 100% God and 100% man. He faced temptation with the power of the Spirit and with the Word of God. He won on a personal level.
The next time you are tempted. Pause for a moment and allow God’s love in that moment to give you the strength to say no. The greatest weapon against temptation is to know that God loves you completely. Then, embrace that love at the moment of temptation and win.
Christ won over temptation in the wilderness; let Him do it again through you