“Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself.”
― Jane Seabrook, Furry Logic Laugh at Life
I want to tell you that Temptations will never completely go away. They will be there. While you’re still breathing. Until your dying day. Nobody rests from it.
It is said that there are THREE Major areas where we are prone to succumb.
It is summarized in THREE G’s: GOLD, GLORY, and GUYS/GIRLS.
Which one is your number one weakness?
A temptation is not a temptation if it’s not IRRESISTIBLE. If it’s not seductive. And pleasurable.
“The woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good to eat. It was also pleasing to look at. And it would make a person wise…” (Genesis 3:6)
It is not a temptation if it doesn’t ATTRACT. It has to appeal to the senses: It should taste good, feel good, smell good, and look good. That’s what BAITS are for– to lure you into the lair where the hungry predator awaits for his dinner. But you may think, Dear Bible-Expert/God’s-Servant/Christian-From-Birth, that one is not so DUMB as to not know what is coming… that DESTRUCTION is up ahead. According to the countless stories down through history, INTELLIGENCE usually doesn’t function here. Upon yielding to it, The BRAIN just gets so NUMBED by the pleasures being experienced. The SENSES are overwhelming. It is too good to refuse! You can’t think much, and when you do, it is to find ways to JUSTIFY YOUR ACTIONS. You know the feeling. Your MIND signals the DANGER SIGN. But no amount of reason will do. You are conquered.
Temptations are also SUBTLE. It is like the allegory of the poor frog, who thought he was just having a nice, warm bath… Only that the water was gradually becoming hotter and hotter… And before he could save himself, it was too late. There he was… cooked to perfection. Perfect for a Science Project. There’s no way you can hold him still if you chuck him in the boiling water. Frogs can jump as much as 50 times their body length. Little by little… slowly but surely. And that’s how temptations get the better of us.
Temptations are also LETHAL when one succumbs to it. Some have recovered from the fall. Some have not. The effects are too painful. And to some, very costly as well. It cost others their career, or their life savings. Some, their reputation. Others, their relationships. And yes… there are those who have paid it with their lives. It may look HARMLESS at first… like a good, old joke… a not-an-everyday little game to play. “It’s too trivial, too tiny. What are the chances,” you say… Such a small thing can do no harm. Can it?
If God has a plan for you, of course the Devil is also cooking up something for you, says one pastor. So EXPECT temptations. They will come. You thought becoming a Christian, praying everyday, serving the Lord will make you IMMUNE to these? I am sorry to disappoint you. This is Earth, not Heaven. In fact, the more you grow as a Christian, the harder the tests will be. Why is this so? Because we are not greater than our Master. He experienced it Himself. Read on:
Jesus Is Tempted
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the devil tempted him. 2After 40 days and 40 nights of going without eating, Jesus was hungry.
3The tempter came to him. He said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Man doesn’t live only on bread. He also lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
5Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city. He had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. It is written,
“ ‘The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you.
They will lift you up in their hands.
Then you won’t trip over a stone.’ ” (Psalm 91:11, 12)
7Jesus answered him, “It is also written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:16)
8Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9“If you bow down and worship me,” he said, “I will give you all of this.”
10Jesus said to him, “Get away from me, Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:13)
11Then the devil left Jesus. Angels came and took care of him. (New International Reader’s Version)
Come to think of it… In His 33 years here on earth, not every activity, every place he went to, or everyone he knew was recorded. But He made sure that His encounter with temptation was written for you and me to read today… “Before the world began, you were on His mind.” He wanted to make sure we’re gonna be alright when it comes. That just as He overcame, we also can. Indeed it is true… A gold is forged in the depths and purified through fire. What a comfort.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 NIV)
Jesus, thank You for arming me with this knowledge.
Thank You because You always give me a WAY OUT. ALWAYS. You won’t leave me there in the open, like a helpless prey.
Your HOLY SPIRIT will be that STILL, SMALL VOICE within me, telling me what I should do.
It scares me to think that I have the capacity to leave You. So I am praying today:
Help me CHOOSE YOU all the time, Lord. Help me to be TRUE TO YOU.
I will TRUST and not be afraid. And if ever I fall, my Lord, HELP ME TO RECOVER AS FAST AS I CAN,
through the UNPARRALELLED POWER OF the CROSS. Your SACRIFICE FOR ME.
By YOUR GRACE. By YOUR STRENGTH, NOT MINE. For You promised that You will be strong when I am not.
I love You, Lord… You know I do.