temptation

temptation

: a strong urge or desire to have or do something

: something that causes a strong urge or desire to have or do something and especially something that is bad, wrong, or unwise

There is no question we live lives filled with temptation. Scripture tells us these temptations come to us from 3 sources.

The Devil:

8  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

The World:

15  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. 17  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)

Our Flesh:

6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7  the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Romans 8:6-7 (NIV)

Temptations is something we face on a daily basis. Jesus knew first hand about the temptations we face. The writer to the Hebrews, in talking about Jesus who stands as our High Priest, wrote: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

Temptation is a real issue in all of our lives, but God does not leave us unarmed in the battle.[Tweet “Temptation is a real issue in all of our lives, but God does not leave us unarmed in the battle.”]

Prayer & Scripture

TheBig3_1Our first and strongest weapon is the weapon that Jesus used in the midst of His wilderness temptation by satan. (Read Luke 4:1-13) The Word of God is our first defense against temptation.  Jesus uses this powerful weapon, after 40 days of fasting and prayer.  The best way to face temptation is by being prepared for it.  This includes spending time in prayer and study of God’s Word. Learn to be specific in your pray, you know the snares that trip you up repeatedly.

10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV)

Worship & Fellowship

TheBig3_2We were designed to be in community. As we gather together for fellowship and Worship we are encouraged for the struggles that lie ahead of us.  We find strength in the commonality of our struggle. As we join together around Word and Sacrament we are strengthened and bound to one another. Our corporate time of confession and forgiveness remind us that we are not alone.

46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)

Accountability to Others

TheBig3_3Completing our list of weapons against temptation is the accountability of a friend or group. Accountability is one of the must under used tools at our disposal.  The hesitation to become accountable to someone often stems from our reluctance to be open and honest. I want to encourage you to find 1-3 people with whom you can develop relationship and trust.  This model is key to the success of addiction recovery programs, so as people addicted to sin should we do any different?

17  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

I would like to hear from you! What verses are particularly meaningful for you in your battle? Is there a worship song that speaks to your heart in your struggle? Do you have thoughts or ideas to share with those seeking accountability? leave a comment below.