I am reminded that temptation must be..... tempting. Definitions for temptation and tempting: enticing, alluring, to attract, appeal, to entice to do something often regarded as wrong or immoral
There's a few passages of scripture rolling through my head as I say the word temptation. The first one being of course, James 1. James says that we're tempted when we're led away by "our own desires" (v. 14) that's why it says in verse 13 that God can't be tempted by evil because there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING inside of our Holy God that desires or wants anything to do with evil or sin, therefore sin cannot tempt Him.
The next passage is in Matthew 4 when the Spirit led Jesus out to be tempted (that's a whole other fun topic). Satan tried to tempt Jesus with 3 big things. Things that let's be honest cause all of us to sin at one point or another. The thing is satan didn't tempt Jesus with anything he couldn't offer. He didn't tempt Jesus with something that wasn't appealing. He tempted him with food while Jesus was HUNGRY. He tempted Him with pride... "if you're really the Son of God then PROVE IT (my words). He tempted Him with great power when Jesus knew He was going to have to leave a life of serving, persecution, and yes, pain.
Satan isn't the idiot with a pitch fork that the cartoons try to portray him as. Oh yes he is defeated, oh yes we do have the power and authority over him, but that doesn't make him dumb. Satan will try to tempt you with something... tempting. He will try to tempt you with your "own desires" as James 1 says.
I like what Oswald Chambers says,
"temptation comes to me as a possible shortcut to what I realize is my highest goal"
Yes, dear old Oswald, got it. Temptation must be "tempting". I'm not tempted by the offer of some cocaine, there is nothing in me that wants to be on drugs. I'm not tempted to go to a party and get drunk. So, how does the enemy tempt me? What are some of my highest goals? What about when the "easy" path is just a temptation to my highest goal? The job offer that gives you more money and seems perfect, but just isn't sitting right. The time you could easily lie to avoid hurting someone's feelings, isn't that when sin seems justified?
Did you know that sin can be birthed out of good intentions?
That's right. We can be tempted to lie because we don't want to offend someone. We can be tempted to gossip because we think we're going to get more people to "pray".
Remember temptation must be... tempting. As I go down this line of thought this morning I'm more thankful than ever for that awesome Holy Spirit and John 13-17. Often times temptation in front of us may not look directly like sin, temptation may not look contrary to what we think God would want for us, but you have the Holy Spirit and He will speak to you. He will guide you unto the path of righteousness. The Word says He will remind you of all things. Will you listen? Will you rely on Him? Will I acknowledge Him in all my ways and here's the kicker, LEAN NOT TO MY OWN UNDERSTANDING? Sometimes we won't understand why God said yes or why He said no, why He said here or why He said there... Will you obey anyway?
Be Blessed, J. Tate