Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Good News About Temptation by Martin Wiles

Though they house several common denominators, the shapes and sizes vary.

For Eve, temptation was a mere piece of fruit…but a piece that represented disobedience to God. For Adam, it was listening to his wife’s pleadings instead of God’s voice. King David was enticed when he looked in the right direction at the wrong time. The Israelites were tempted when Moses remained too long on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments.

Rob turned away from God when he delved into a doctrine that divides Christians. Since he couldn’t understand it, he chose to throw up his hands and walk away. Heather’s* temptation was an attraction to a man she worked with instead of faithfulness to her husband. For Sam*, it was money and possessions. He just couldn’t seem to fit God into his “gotta have more” lifestyle.

In a portion of the model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, he told them to ask the Father for strength not to yield to temptation. And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation (Luke 11:4 NLT). Paul later assured believers that we can have victory (I Corinthians 10:13).

Through temptation, I experience what’s common to everyone. They may not be lured by the same things, but I’m in the company of all humanity when I’m tempted. But here’s the good news. As God’s child, I can overcome.

Unbelievers may experience temporary victory, but only with Christ’s strength can success be sustained indefinitely. With God’s guidance, I can control my eyes and thus my thoughts and finally my actions. God will never tempt me, nor will he ever allow a temptation to be more than I can handle with his power.

Ask God to help you master what masters you but shouldn’t.

Prayer: Sustaining God, we commit our eyes, thoughts, and actions to You and ask that You direct them toward what pleases You instead of us or others.

*Names changed to protect individuals' privacy.

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