Today we will begin our look into how temptation works in our lives and how we can recognize it. If you haven’t already done so, please read the introduction to this series here.
It would be appropriate to begin this study of temptation with the knowledge that we all have our own unique tendencies toward sin. What I mean is, the things that you battle with on a day-to-day basis may or may not be the same things that I face. We all have a unique set of circumstances that make up our life and who we are and our reactions to those situations are as individual as our fingerprints. What we all have in common, though, is our ability to be attracted by our fleshly desires. James 1:4 says, “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” That fleshly desire is individual to each of us and is the root cause of our sin.
Now, while God did not create our mortal bodies to be filled with sin (Genesis 1:27), he did create us with the freedom of choice. Satan has used that freedom to lure us away from the good that God created and tempts us with the belief that we can decide what’s best for ourselves. The reality is that we are caught off guard at times by the temptations around us when we should be ready for them. Knowing our enemy and knowing how he typically operates (1 Peter 5:8) will help us be better prepared for the tough challenges which are sure to come.
If you consistently struggle with certain areas in your life, are you ready to do what it takes to fight those temptations? If you struggle with pornography or lust, are you willing to put boundaries in your life to minimize the risk of sinning in this area? If you have the tendency to lie or cheat your way through life, would you be willing to have someone hold you accountable and help you with your integrity? There are many ways that we can fight back against temptation and it’s not about being legalistic or creating a set of religious rules that everyone must follow. It’s about seeing where you struggle, naming those struggles, admitting them, and then doing everything in your power to defeat them.
In the next post, we will look at the first way you can fight back against temptation and take your life back for God. I hope you’ll join me so together we can help each other stay faithful to God and give him the best we have offer.