Temptation-Part 1

Temptation - Part I
Not Too Powerful

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. 1John 5:4 (NKJV)

Faith properly placed is a powerful thing.  It is our faith properly placed in God and His powerful abilities rather than our own that brings us both, a proper confidence and a great hope.  We need this hope to walk properly and in a victorious manor.  I find all too often that people choose to look at the obstacles in their life as an ominous wall that cannot be climbed.  The temptation to fear, worry, or be anxious that we all will face can, and will make up these walls, and to some they are the very elements that bring about an impasse in their Christian walk.

Temptations come from the enemy in many forms - they are like landmines strewn about.  Satan is not Omni-present like God, which means that he cannot be everywhere at the same time.  Because of this, he must rely on his demons to help him out. Since they too cannot be everywhere, they craft well thought out booby traps to work in their absence.   I call these "Temptation traps." 

These temptation traps have been finely crafted into the fabric of our everyday lives.  They come from the entertainment being offered, to the various types of attitudes within our societies, and even through the traditions and customs that have been put together through generations.

I want to be clear on something, Satan is not "All-powerful," nor is he all controlling - God is!  God allows Satan to work through the way of temptation, as God does not tempt anyone.

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. James 1:13 (NKJV)

And I want to also point out that the temptation in itself would have no allure if there weren't a "Desire" for that which is being used as temptation.  We are told in James 1:14-15 that "each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."

So, it is the combination of the "Desires" of our flesh and the "Temptation" of Satan that brings about sin.  We see this occurring back in the Garden of Eden as Eve, "Desired" to possess that which she was being tempted with.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)

Again, I must state that all these temptations, whether they are to lust, envy, covet, hate, to be angry, sad, anxious or fearful they are all from the enemy.  God allows these temptations as a test in our life. These tests will come about in many ways, and that they will even come through various trials and tribulations - extreme times of difficulty.  But even in these times of difficulty, God has a perfect plan, and we are to be encouraged during them.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

God allows certain temptations from the enemy in our life to be His tests - knowing that it will bring about those qualities and elements that are essential in our Christian Growth.  We can see an example of this in the life of Job.  

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.  And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."  Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Job 1:6-10 (NKJV)

In this story we can see how the enemy had to gain approval before tempting Job.  We can also see how God has a hedge of protection around His children - how He blesses the work of our hands and how even our possessions are increased by Him.  It is our responsibility to pass these tests, as they will ultimately shape our integrity, perseverance and commitment unto the Lord.

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you to always remember that He who is within you is greater than he who is within the world.  Satan is not too powerful for God.  His temptations are not too great that we cant overcome them.  We will look at this more in Part II of this devotional series.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about temptations and pour part in dealing with them according to the scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you applying your faith in God's ability to guide you through the enemy's temptations?

APPLICATION:  Seek the Lord for protection, guidance, wisdom and strength each and every day.  Let God empower you to deal with every temptation.  Keep your eyes fixed upon the Lord during these temptations.

Father, Thank You for Your protection, Your guidance, and Your wisdom.  I acknowledge that You are all powerful and capable of handling every situation that I face.  Give me Your wisdom today for handling every situation that I face.  Fill me with Your Spirit and empower me to deal with every temptation and to acknowledge Your will in each situation.   In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000