Everyone faces temptation. Matthew 4:1
If Jesus had to deal with temptation, we cannot be surprised when we must. Because of the sinful nature within us, temptation is not only external like for Christ coming from the devil, but internal coming from our own desires and lusts. Romans 13:14 The degree to which temptation affects us is determined by how much of the sinful nature still controls our lives. Galatians 5:17 Being tempted itself is not a sin nor does it denote that one is necessarily more “sinful” than another. However, it does draw attention to the areas where the flesh or Satan would like to have control. The areas where we feel most tempted are the areas where we would possibly bring God the most glory or most shame.
Temptation seeks to satisfy a God-given desire in an ungodly way.
The lure for temptation is that it promises something we desire, which is a God-created hunger, but it cheapens it by promoting some kind of shortcut, circumventing God’s plan or principles. Temptation uses our natural desires against us and seeks to destroy God’s work in us or through us by making our desires god.
Our temptations can reveal how we could be best used by God.
Temptations expose the areas of our lives where we are most susceptible to sin and disobedience. The natural inclinations and gravity toward a sin or temptation should stir up awareness of each person’s proclivity toward a certain action or inaction. James 1:4 When we recognize the temptation for what it is, it will help us in understanding how God intends to use us for His glory and how Satan desires to expose us for God’s ridicule.
Temptations have an escape. 1 Corinthians 10:12-14
Temptations may be strong but they do not have to dominate. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and yielding to His leading, temptation does not have to control our lives. We can overcome. God has promised a way out of temptation for those who are willing to look for it. The reason so many give into temptation is not that there wasn’t an escape but because they used temptation as an escape itself. Temptation promises quick relief or momentary satisfaction that can be hard to resist unless a person is committed to yielding to Holy Spirit. Entertaining temptation as an option in anyway is a surefire way to become wrapped up in it.
Get outta there!
When faced with a temptation, no matter how trivial it may seem, RUN! 2 Timothy 2:22 Temptation will come and your response needs to be RUN! Flee temptation as we are told in scripture. Don’t try to understand the temptation. Don’t try to be stronger than the tempter. Paul said he placed no confidence in his flesh. When we acknowledge that sin is strong, we will run to Christ. He alone is stronger!