Last post we saw clearly how Jesus handled temptation. No pondering; no mulling it over; no “what if” scenarios. He took immediate action, spoke God Word out loud to the tempter, and the wrestling match was over. Satan, and his temptation, departed.
Now, let’s take a look at another prominent Bible character who was also directly and severely tempted…but with a much different outcome.
The mother of us all, the very first woman – Eve – was perfect in every way. I am sure she was one of God’s greatest masterpieces. She didn’t, however, know much about dealing with our diabolical enemy. When she was tempted in the Garden of Eden, the enemy cleverly and diabolically twisted God’s command to her and her husband, and used every means at his disposal to get her to question God’s goodness and plan for the young couple. The first six verses of Genesis, chapter 3, tell the sad tale.
Satan asked her rhetorical questions that made her question God’s authority, His love and His goodness. He made her begin to wonder whether God really meant what He said and whether He might be holding out on them. You can almost see her pondering and evaluating as the passage says, she “saw the fruit was good and pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for wisdom”. She was mulling over what the serpent said and weighing her options. Next, she reached an agreement in her mind that this guy must be right.
Once she made that agreement, she convinced herself to choose against God, seek her own way and turn her back on Him. She decided that she knew best what was best for her, and for her husband. Convinced by her own naive, inexperienced logic – she took action. She not only chose to turn her back on God, she convinced her passive, love-struck husband to do the same. Their human “wisdom” was no match for the master deceiver.
Ours isn’t either.
If you and I take the time to ponder, speculate, justify, consider – the enemy’s tasty offer(s) – we will lose. If we stop for a moment to muse over thoughts like “well, no one will know” – “I wonder if..” – “I deserve….”, “a little won’t hurt anything…”, “just one more time, then I’ll never do it again”, – we will lose, and the consequences will come. Maybe not immediately, like Eve and Adam – but they will come.
Make a choice. Decide to take temptation head on and with all the authority of a blood-bought son of the King and joint heir with Jesus. Don’t ponder – plunder. Resist. Speak out loud with authority and confidence. Flee if you must – but don’t try to think through temptation ANY MORE.
Smoking. Drinking too much. Overeating. Pornography. Sensuality. Apathy. Laziness. Workaholic. Anger. Fear. Anxiety.
The list goes on, and on and on.
All these are offerings of “warm bread” from the most diabolical enemy in the universe, and his mission is to “rob, kill and destroy” you, your marriage, your family, your health, your finances, your witness, your good name – he wants to destroy YOU.
He can only win if we let him. He has no power over us at all – unless we give it to him. The battleground is in our mind. From this day forward you can choose to approach temptation like Eve, or like Jesus. “I can handle it” – or “I can’t handle it, but God can” (and already has).
Don’t keep losing battles that have already been won.