Let’s face it – we’re all tempted. Most likely every day, in some way, we are tempted spiritually, mentally or physically. It is a part of living in a fallen, sinful world and it is part of living in a war zone. As I hope you know by now, we live in a world where the clash between good and evil rages all around us every single day. Whether we acknowledge it or not, or engage in it or not, doesn’t make it any less a reality.
Since creation, our enemy has been diabolically and deliberately out to destroy us (and our marriages). The Bible informs us that our enemy has “schemes” (2 Cor. 2:11, Eph. 6:11). In this post, let’s talk about one scheme we are all very familiar with – temptation. One of the many descriptions the Bible uses for the enemy, is “the tempter”. We should never question where a tempting thought comes from – straight from the evil one or one of his “principalities, powers, or spiritual minions. James 1:13 reminds us that God does not tempt anyone.
So – is it okay to be tempted? Absolutely! Everyone has been, is being, or will be – even Jesus was tempted. The difference is, the Bible says – 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—yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Did you catch that? He was tempted in every way, yet He did not sin. Was He tempted to have a lustful thought toward an attractive woman, or to say unkind and hurtful words, or live a totally selfish day doing whatever He wanted to do? “In every way” means just that.
But He was God, you say. Of course He could resist. He had special powers that we don’t have.
Not so fast. Philippians 2 reminds us that Christ stripped himself of his divinity, and humbly took the form of a human being. Jesus said of himself –
I can do nothing of my own initiative ( John 5, John 8 )and, the Son of Man can do nothing of himself also in John 5.
Temptation is part of life. We know it is coming and we know where it comes from – yet, we still find ourselves looking, thinking and acting in ways we know we shouldn’t. How did Jesus handle temptation? When does temptation become sin? How can I find victory over those attitudes and actions that keep bringing me down?
Tune in Part 2.