Two Korean soldiers were joking and laughing as they walked along a path to join their unit. The war had been over for months, so there seemed to be no danger to worry about. One of the men suddenly spotted something shiny in the ditch beside the path. Stepping aside, he reached down to retrieve the object. There was a deafening explosion as a land mine went off and when the dust settled, the soldier lay dead and his companion had both legs blown off. A sign they had just walked by read, "Danger, Stay on Path."God's Word puts up some danger signs to warn you about temptation as you walk on your daily spiritual journey.
ReceiveJames 1:12-15 (ESV)
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 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. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
How does this happen? Let's look at some people who were tempted to do wrong and ended up in a tangle of sin and shame.
Read Genesis 3:1-10 and re-read verses 6 and 7.
- What did Eve see?
- What did she desire?
- What did she do?
- Why did Adam and Eve hide? (3:10)
- What happened as a result of their sin? (see Genesis 3:22-24)
- What did Achan see?
- What was his temptation about what he saw?
ReflectDo you see the pattern of temptation? They saw something...they desired it...they took it for themselves...they hid the results as well as they could from God and man, but they were caught and had to face the consequences.
The same thing happened to David in his adultery with Bathsheba. He saw her; he desired her; he took her. Then David tried every way he could think of to hide the sin, but he suffered tragic consequences for the rest of his life (see 2 Samuel 11 and 12).
Do you wonder what resources God has given us to ward off the temptations Satan brings our way? Here is some help. Look up the Bible answers to these questions:
- What does Jesus say about how we should regularly pray against Satan's temptations? (Matthew 6:13 and Matthew 26:41).
- If you are tempted, is there any way out before you fall into sin? (1Corinthians 10:13).
RespondFirst Corinthians 10:13 says that temptation is a common experience for all people.
Someone once said of temptation, "You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair!"
Take some time right now to consider whether there are some weak spots in your life--an old habit, a wrong pattern of activity or a desire for something that requires disobedience to God in order to get. If you identify a weakness, ask the Lord now to give you strength and to deliver you from the temptations of the evil one.Back to the Bible Ministries
My Comments: We all are tempted from the time we are very young and sometimes or often we find excuses for what we do even to ourselves yet when we do wrong we have no one else to blame but ourselves. We are born with sinful natures that want to gratify us and "make us happy" at the expense of everything even the loss of God. Oh, we tell ourselves pretty little things to make it seem okay yet it never is and only repentance, confession and turning back to God cleans it up (if you will, Not to say it ever becomes right).
When I was 18 I fell in love (I thought I knew what love really was) and because I said I would marry him I felt it was okay to sleep with him "because we were married in the eyes of God". This is the lie we told ourselves to do what we wanted to do because it made us feel good. When I was 7 I stole dolls and told myself "it's okay because I am Joe's Granddaughter and everyone gives me what I want", as a young teen I stole a comb "because they have insurance that covers it and I need it". Oh, the stories we tell to ourselves and to others to justify our thoughts, words and actions. I was wrong all those times and many more and when I went to the foot of the cross to accept I was a sinner and I needed the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, I repented, confessed and put on the mantle of my Lord and Savior Jesus, Immanuel.
When I am tempted now I like Christ say, "Get the behind me Satan," and flee his temptation as I know God does not and never has tempted me or anyone else. I pray and stay as close to my my Lord Jesus as, well as a second skin if you will because only then can I flee sin and it's temptations. My flesh is weak, I have already proven that that to myself and without the strength and guidance of God I will fall into temptation. In the prayer the Lord taught the disciples to pray to the Father we are taught to pray God protects us from temptation and from evil. We cannot if we want to finish the race well, relax our vigilance on our flesh or like Eve we will hear "Did God really say...?" and folks YES, He did say to not partake of temptation.
My Mom always taught me (wish I had listened when I was younger), "If in doubt don't" and "If you don't know ask me (her)" however my sin nature always thought it had all the answers and felt it a weakness to ask. Well, I am here to tell you to ask the Lord, ask a Pastor, ask someone who studies the Word or prays to the Lord without ceasing but do not rely on your sin nature to give you the answers you should listen to. Satan loves people who do.
Abba, Father we come before you fallen and knowing we cannot trust or lean on our own understanding. We know You only know all things and only You can take and make us pure as the new driven snow through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus. Thank You Father for making a way for our redemption for our sinful natures. Keep us from temptation and give us Your strength to over come, let us not rely on our understanding but on Yours. Cover us with Your mantle Lord and fill us with Your Holy Spirit so we will be discerning and filled with Your knowledge and able to overcome evil and temptation. Be our light and keep us on Your path and make of us a beacon to others to You that we may bring You glory, praise and honor. In Jesus' precious and mighty name. Amen