Monday, October 19, 2009

Dealing With Temptation

The most important thing to realize and understand about temptation is that it all comes from the same root. The one and only purpose for temptation is to get you to trust in something, anything, other than God. The less you trust in God the bigger temptation will seem. Temptation will seem impossible if you have little trust in God, but as we understand more fully who God says we are and what we are capable of in him then temptation will not be such a big deal.

Here are 3 areas that we are tempted at... Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16) Jesus was tempted in these 3 areas for the sole reason to get him to take his eyes of what God had said about him. Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus had just been baptized in Chapter 3 and God spoke to him and said,"This is my son in whom I am well pleased." Jesus was now obligated to exercise faith in what God just told him. Satan then came to try and get Jesus to trust in something other than what God said. Now remember, 3 areas we will be tempted in, 1. lust of the flesh, 2. lust of the eyes, 3. pride of life.

1. Lust of the flesh: Satan tells Jesus, "If you are the son of God, turn these stones into bread." It wouldn't be a sin to turn stones into bread, but to perform a miracle in order to prove your the son of God would be. Notice where the emphasis is... Jesus had to trust what God had said about him, that he was the Son of God, he needed to believe by faith, and not perform a miracle to prove it.

2. Lust of the eyes: Satan then showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world and told Jesus if he would worship him that Satan would give Jesus the kingdoms. Jesus of course resisted the temptation.

3. Pride of life: Satan then takes Jesus to the top of the temple and told him if you are the son of God, jump from the temple for God has given his angles charge over him... the thing is, there were always people at the temple and these people would have seen Jesus descending from the top of the temple and he would have been exalted in that he proved he was the Son of God.

Satan's tricks are not new. Hebrews 4:15. Jesus was tempted in every area we have been, yet without sin. All temptation comes from the same root. So Jesus was tempted in every point, and if you say that things are different no and the pressures are now greater, you go without eating for 40 days!

Many times we are only tempted by habits that we form, Jesus was tempted by Satan himself and was yet without sin.

Another thing I've also found important when dealing with temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted. I believe we sometimes condemn ourselves because we are tempted but yet the Bible tells us to count it all joy when tempted! James 1. Jesus was tempted but yet was without sin. The trying of your faith works patience and helps you to grow into a strong and mature Christian.

It also says in James that God is not the one tempting us, for God is not a man that he should be tempted neither tempted he any man, but God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to endure, but if you humble yourself and ask for his help, he will provide a way of escape from the temptation.

In conclusion, Trust God! God is on your side and he is cheering for you! He believes that you can make it. He has made a large investment in you in hopes that you would yield a great return! He invested 1 (his son) in order to receive many!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome revelation Cale! What a blessing to be reading this from you! You're right, oftentimes we beat ourselves up because we are tempted and think "if we were more 'rightous' then that wouldn't have been a temptation". First of all, it is not US who makes ourselves rightous but Christ. And secondly...WHO is more rightous than Christ himself? If He endured temptation, what makes us think that we would be exempt from it? I know my friends think I'm a bit cooky---but I often get excited when trials come because I know it means #1: I must be making Satan nervous if he's going after me so hard and #2: This is an opportunity for God to prove His faithfulness in my life and to get GLORY! I've actually told the devil, when I'm tempted to fear or he's trying to scare me with something...BRING IT ON SUCKER! Because apparently he must have forgotten how this story ends. HE LOSES! Every time. Period. If God be for me, WHO can stand against me? (uhh...definitely not the measly ol' devil!) He has NO power other than what I give him...which is lessening all the time. Another cool thing that we've been taught recently is that in 1 Cor. 10:12-14 it says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." What is common to man is only what is in the natural. The devil has no power or ability to tempt us supernaturally! If we are walking in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16)
    Christians ask "If God promises us all these things (Ps. 91, etc.) then why am I going through this (sickness, financial hardship, etc.). BECAUSE (Jn. 16:32,33) He said, ""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."
    And who is in you? HE IS!
    GLORY!! We have the victory. Period.
    Man...makes me want to get up from this computer chair and dance!
    Thanks Cale for obeying what I'm sure God led you to do and starting this blog! I look forward to showing it to Matt and to reading along with you! God is GOOD! (ALL the time!)