Summary: Temptation is something we all experience. This writeup will help us examine the meaning and source of temptation. Also, scriptural ways of overcoming it will be provided. May we not fall into temptation in Jesus name.
Temptation is what got us to where we are today in the world - as the first man and woman succumbed to it in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-19). We thank God however, for providing us a way of overcoming. THe way is Jesus Christ. Halleluyah!
Do you find yourself struggling with various forms of temptation? Be rest assured that you are not alone and the Lord Jesus is available to help you conquer each time. Temptation does not go away but the Spirit of God is available to assist so you do not fall.
What is temptation?
Temptation is an enticement to act against the will of God (in thoughts and actions)
“Something you want to have or do, even though you know you shouldn't. That bag of peanut butter cups on top of your fridge might be an example of a temptation.
The thing that you want despite knowing it's not good for you — like the cool sneakers you really can't afford — is a temptation. The feeling is also a temptation — so wanting those shoes is temptation. The Latin word temptare, or to taste, is where temptation comes from, which makes a lot of sense when you think of that bag of peanut butter cups calling to you from the kitchen.”- vocabulary.com
Source of Temptation: Inside & outside of self
1. Our own flesh (the part of us that wants to work against God’s will); sinful drives / desires – Pride, lust, greed, etc, (Mat. 15:18-20; James 1:14-16)
2. The world (1 John 2:15), i.e. the opinions and acceptable norms of the world around us – which are always contrary to God’s words, because of the one who is ruling this world (John 14:30, 12:31, 2 Cor. 4:4). Riches -1 Tim. 6:9-10; Power – Deut. 8:17-18
3. Satan – tempted Jesus (Mat. 4:3); He prompted Judas (John 13:2,27); Prompted David to count (1 Chron. 21:1)
Nature of temptation
1. It shows up at crucial times of need or weakest moments of our lives (Mt. 4:2) -Satan came when Jesus was hungry
2. It camouflages as if to help meet one’s needs, offering fake goods (Mt. 4:3, 6, 9)
3. It has the intention to give fake answers & do quick fixes, instead of the original answer one would get from God (Mt. 4:1-11)
4. Satan never gives up in tempting God’s people (Mt. 4:1-11). He left for an opportune time (4:11)
5. It presents itself as sweet or hard to resist (lust, vengeance, etc)
6. It is common to all human beings (1 Cor. 10:13)
7. God delivers His people from all forms of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13)
8. Every temptation can be overcome, because God would never allow anything that we cannot overcome (1 Cor. 10:13)
Examples of temptation
1. Kill the anointed, since he is your enemy, though God say we should not do any harm to His anointed (David & Saul - 1 Samuel 24:1-7)
2. Lie to obtain documents, though God hates lies (Prov. 12:22)
3. Take revenge, even though vengeance belongs to God (Deut. 32:25; Rom. 12:19-20)
4. Disobey parent since that's what children do, though the word says otherwise (Col. 3:20; Eph. 6:1-4; Exo. 20:12)
5. Be fearful when something happens, though fear is not of God (2 Tim. 1:7)
6. Worry about finishing well (Phil. 1:6)
7. Deny your spouse of intimacy because you want to be holy, even though that is not what the bible teaches (1 Cor. 7:1-5)
Sexual immorality is one of the temptations that Christian couples struggle with. Often, people claim that they easily get overcome by this temptation because their spouse denies them of intimacy - either because they want to be holy or some other reasons. Suggest ways to overcome this in light of the 1 Cor. 7:1-5 scripture, so as to avoid being the cause of temptation.
Can you think of and share some other examples of temptation?
How to overcome temptation
We thank God for Hebrews 2:18 which says, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” ESV
Listed below are some of the escape routes which help one overcome temptations:
1. Use the WORD of God, that is Jesus’ pattern - (Mt. 4: 4,7, 10) Ps. 119:11
a. Remember the word which says you have been delivered from sin (Col. 1:12-13)
b. Refuse to obey sin when it is luring you (Rom. 6:11-12); Do not consent (Prov. 1:10)
2. Ask for the Help of the Holy Spirit who reminds us of God’s words - (John 14:26)
3. Use Prayers – Jesus asks us to pray that we would not fall into temptation - (Mt. 6:13)
4. Be Patience (Psalm 37:7). After exercising patience, Jesus received all He needed through the angels that came to minister to Him (Mt. 4:11)