Sunday, 2 November 2014

Temptation Oh Temptation

Proverbs10:3 God suffers not the soul of the righteous man to famish; but he repels the craving of the wicked.
      
      Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist anything except temptation.”
      It is not a sin to be tempted, it only becomes a sin when we submit to temptation and sin is born. James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. I was asked by someone who was having a hard time with a repetitive vice, "Why does the devil keep using the same old things to tempt us?" I said, "Because it works." 

      The word of God says that we are to submit to God then resist the devil. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Resisting temptation without submitting to God first can be a hard row to hoe. We see this clearly with New Year's resolutions. There is not much resolve to accomplish the resolutions because temptation enters in and reclaims its dominance in the person's life.
      Jesus was tempted of the devil forty days and nights. If Jesus was tempted and he had to overcome the attraction of the temptation then what makes you think you won't have to deal with temptation? The help Jesus had is the same help and power that is available to us all who are in Christ. After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon Him and led Jesus into the wilderness. Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. 

      Submission to the Holy Spirit is the answer to overcoming during any wilderness temptation. One of the things you will notice about Jesus is that he did not mope about because he was tempted. He overcame the temptation with the word of God. Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. After the encounter with temptation, we do not see Jesus walking around fretting over the fact that he had been tempted. Jesus immediately gets on with his life. Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 
      We also have to realize that Jesus had been fasting for forty days and nights and still had the strength to overcome sin because of the power of the Holy Spirit working within him. The blessing of our new birth with Christ is the same Holy Spirit that Jesus moved in now lives in us.
      Many of us do not realize the righteous position we live in because of Christ's reign in our hearts. Becoming upset because temptation comes our way is silly. As the proverb says, "God suffers not the soul of the righteous man to famish." We are not some weak, just barely hanging on to a thread of God's grace saint. No, we are the blood washed Holy Spirit filled kings and priests living in the joy of our Lord, saint. Big difference. 

      We are not famishing for existence and identity, wandering the spiritual edges of holiness looking for a crust of compassion. We are the sons of the most high God in Christ; benefiting from all the atoning work that was done for every man who accepts Jesus as their personal Saviour. 1 John 3:1a Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.
      
If you are being tempted with something, then rejoice, because you are becoming a threat to the kingdom of darkness. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. As one translation puts it: For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 
      Overcoming temptation stops the famishing aspect and feelings of failure in our faith. Not submitting to temptation causes the endurance of our faith to grow. Don't fear or be put out by different temptations. Overcome the tempter with the anointed power of the Holy Spirit that lives in our hearts. Amen!

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