Fighting Temptation Pt 2 – God Allows Temptation

16 04 2010

Fighting temptation is combat God allows, because it is won or lost at the spiritual level. He desires that we endure when we are tempted and promises that there is a way out. When we are sorely tempted, it may not seem that there is a way out, but the God who made us knows what we can endure and bear, and it is He who provides a way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13 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.”

Depending on what His goal is in our lives, God’s way of escape might be to take us through the temptation, or He may give us strength to overcome it. His desire is that we don’t fall into temptation, but that we proceed through it and master it, rather than it mastering us.

God wants us to overcome! 1 Peter 1:3-8, reminds us, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

God Allows Temptation
Temptation is as old as mankind, beginning in the Garden of Eden. When Satan tempted Eve to do what God had forbidden, he appealed to her reasoning.
“Did God really say…,” the enemy hissed. Then he appealed to her desires, “You can be like God!” Finally, he slithered aside and let her passions take over. She looked at the fruit on the forbidden tree – and she wanted it (Genesis 3). Temptation still works like that. There is nothing new in Satan’s bag of tricks. King David was tempted when he saw his neighbor’s beautiful wife, Bathsheba, and he succumbed to that temptation (2 Samuel 11:2-5). Throughout the book of Psalms, we find David recording his distress after falling into temptation. His soul was grieved and felt as if it were torn in two. In a discussion with Peter, Jesus tells him that Satan wants to rule him (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus was taken by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan (Matthew 4).

God wants us to succeed and prevail over temptation, but Satan, God’s sworn enemy, longs to devour us. In fact, 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” When Adam and Eve gave in to temptation in the Garden, rather than obeying God as He desired, they yielded control of this physical world to Satan. His goal in our lives is two-fold: first, he wants to take us with him to hell. If he loses that battle because we become Christians, his goal is then to make us ineffective for God in this world. He uses temptation to accomplish his purposes. The very essence and meaning of sin is to miss the mark, and this is accomplished through giving in to temptation.

To be Continued

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