Recognizing Temptation

Recognizing Temptation

August 10, 2022

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world”. 1 Peter 5:8–9

WHAT IS TEMPTATION? Temptation can be defined as the desire or will to do what is evil.

The most well-known thing that Satan does is deceiving people. Whether a person is a Christian or not, everyone experiences temptation, which is the invitation to do evil. Satan nevertheless makes a special effort to seduce Christians. He is aware that, to some extent, if he can bring down a Christian, he may also drag the church into disrepute and dispute the name of the Lord. The same is true for Christians who sin, just as David’s sin with Bathsheba offered “much reason to the adversaries of the LORD to blaspheme” (2 Samuel 12:14). Satan uses this as one of his tricks to entice believers.

Satan’s Hatred

Satan also tempts you because he despises you and wants to ruin you. He is aware that “sin brings out death when it is fully grown” (James 1:15).

No doubt, Peter was thinking of Satan’s activity in seducing man when he described him as “a roaring lion, seeking whoever he may devour.”

How to Recognize Temptation

Learning to recognize when we are being tempted is the first thing we need to do in response to temptation.

Subtlety is one of Satan’s characteristics. He blends in so effectively that the person being lured frequently is unaware of his involvement. To put it another way, Satan doesn’t show up in front of you and declares, “I’m the devil. I’m here to entice you into a trap, and then I’ll kill you. Now observe as I work”. No. He stays hidden in the shadows instead. We aren’t even aware that he is working behind the scenes, influencing events, and pulling strings.

Satan’s Approach

He frequently gives the impression that he cares much about our welfare. Remember how Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden that God was being self-centered by withholding something that would be beneficial to her?

He approached Jesus’ temptation in the same way. If You are the Son of God, You shouldn’t be starving to death out here, said satan when He approached Him. Is that any way to live as the Son of God? Why not make bread out of these stones that are over here? Make yourself happy. Due to your merit. You are the Son of God, after all.

Just the Right Lure

Satan is a skilled tempter who knows exactly where your weaknesses are, like a seasoned angler who knows just the proper lure. He may take the form of an angel of light, a damsel in need of rescue, the answer to your money woes, or the remedy for your low self-esteem. The list is endless. When writing to the Corinthians, Paul referred to this aspect of Satan. I worry that somehow, just as the serpent tricked Eve with his cunning, so your brains might be twisted from the simplicity of Christ. 11:3–4 in 2 Corinthians

The Word of God

You may be certain that you are being tempted, whenever you find yourself in a circumstance that can cause you to justify, compromise, or in any other way disregard the Word of God, even though the temptation is sometimes difficult to discern.

Avoiding Temptation

Making every attempt to resist temptation is a crucial step in coping with it. First and foremost, prayer can help you resist temptation. Watch and pray, Jesus commanded, lest you succumb to temptation (Matthew 26:41).

Recognize Your Weaknesses

Second, by having a realistic opinion of oneself, you can resist temptation. This entails being aware of your weakness and avoiding anything that causes you particular trouble. If you’ve struggled with sexual sin, you must take all reasonable precautions to stay away from any circumstance that can lead you astray. It can entail avoiding a specific individual or group of individuals; forgoing particular leisure options like the Internet, the movies, or cable TV; or avoiding the bookshelf at the neighborhood convenience store.

Flee

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. James 4:7.

Avoid individuals, locations, or circumstances that can tempt you to compromise if your past transgressions involved drink or drugs. For every area of weakness, this same idea holds true. As Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife pushed herself at him, your only option if you still find yourself in a tempting scenario is to run like Joseph did. An important first step in resisting temptation is identifying your area of weakness.

Fight the Good Fight

The phrase “Let him who believes he stands take heed lest he fall” comes to mind (1 Corinthians 10:12). Instead of allowing oneself to fall into temptation, “Flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” Put on the armor of faith and embrace eternal life (1 Timothy 6:11–12).

Is It Possible to Overcome Temptation?

Therefore, is it possible to resist temptation? Indeed, it is! Being tempted only has one positive aspect: we are certain to prevail. Knowing this is essential. You get the idea from certain Christians that you can’t win and that slipping back is just a part of being a Christian. The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth! Victory is conceivable, according to the Bible. John the apostle stated, “My little children, I write to you these things so that you may not sin” (1 John 2:1). In his Epistle, James gives us instructions on how to win the battle:

As a result, obey God. If you resist the devil, he will run away from you. If you get close to God, He will get close to you.

Victory Over Temptation

Total surrender to God is the first step to victory. Being able to resist temptation will be challenging, if not impossible if Jesus is not the Lord of our lives. After submitting to God, we fight against the devil. We stand against the devil using the tools that God has given us to resist him. The Bible is the main tool we use. Satan will eventually leave if we continue to fight.

The life of Christ in Matthew 4 provides an exquisite illustration of this. Satan confronts Jesus after he has fasted for forty days and forty nights, telling Him, “If You Are the Son of God, Command That These Stones Become Bread” (v. 3). Here, our Lord follows the example set forth for us by opposing the devil with the Word of God. “Man shall not live by food alone, but by every word that emanates out of the mouth of God,” as is written in the Bible. (v. 4).

The Word of God

Jesus responded to each temptation from Satan with a passage from the Bible. The same is expected of us. Remember 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have gone away; behold, all things have become new,” when the devil tempts you to return to your old behaviors. Romans 6:11–12 also states that you should consider yourself to be alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord, but dead to sin. So, resist the temptation to let sin rule over your mortal body and submit to its lusts.

Resist the Tempter

Refuse Satan’s temptations by quoting 1 Corinthians 6:19–20: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? Because you were purchased at a price, honor God with your body and spirit, which are gifts from him.

Memorize Scripture

We may see the divine wisdom in David’s words, “Your word I have concealed in my heart, that I might not transgress against You,” in this realistic analysis of temptation (Psalm 119:11). When tempted, Scripture that has been memorized is a great help.

Finally, remember:

To destroy the sin body and free us from its control, our old man was crucified with Him. and after being freed from sin, you turned became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:6, 18

Only typical human temptations have overcome you; nevertheless, God is reliable and will not allow you to be tested beyond your capacity while also providing a path of escape so that you can resist the temptation.  1 Corinthians 10:13

Considering that Jesus the Son of God is our great High Priest and that He has traveled through the heavens, let us cling to our confession. Because our High Priest was in all respects tempted as we are, yet without sin, he is able to understand our weaknesses. So let us approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we may receive compassion and find grace to assist us when we are in need. Heb. 4:14–16.

God bless you.

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