Blessed is the man who endures temptation…‘ James 1:12 NKJV
The second misperception is: temptation is sin. The devil wants you to blame yourself for the temptations you experience. Why? Because when you believe that you are the source of it, you feel condemned and discouraged. As you indulge in feelings of discouragement, you become an easy prey and Satan convinces you to go ahead and yield to the temptation. Ironically, you yield to sin through the fear of having already fallen. No, the temptation itself isn’t sin; the sin only occurs when you yield to it!
Many of us feel like we’re spiritually deficient or distant from God, because we think we initiated the temptation ourselves. Imagine a burglar in your house, and when you detect him he accuses you of being the burglar! Would you believe him? Of course not! Yet that’s Satan’s approach. After he tempts us, he accuses with thoughts like, ‘A real Christian would never have such thoughts!’ Knowing our own weakness, his accusations sound plausible and we believe him. Then we feel condemned, spiral into discouragement and yield to the temptation.
The Bible says, ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus‘ (Rom 8:1 NIV). When Satan sends temptation, the Holy Spirit goes to work in us, helping us to reject his suggestions and reminding us of Jesus’ availability to help us triumph. ‘Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted…He is able to help those who are being tempted‘ (Heb 2:18 NIV).
So when you’re tempted, reject Satan’s condemnation and reach for Christ’s overcoming assistance.
Soul Food: Ezek 16:53 – 19:14; Matt 16:13-28; Ps 48; Pro 14:33-35
Written by Bob & Debby Gass
Monday, 8 June 2015