What is Temptation?
Cambridge Dictionary of Temptation: “The wish to do or have something which you know you should not do or have”, “Something that makes you want to do or have something that you know you should not” Sources of temptations: (a) Satan (Gen 3:1, Matt. 4:1); (b) The flesh (James 1:14), (c) Evil association (Prov. 1:10) and (d) at times Christian friends (Matt. 16:22-23). Temptation Vs Trial: The objective of temptation is to get the victim to err/fall while the objective of trial is to prove trust/faith in God.
However, there are trial situations that may present itself as temptation. For example, God can allow certain situations to take place or certain events to show one one’s character, for He already knows what decision we will make beforehand. Agents of temptations?
- “Trusted people” (Friends, Associates, Colleagues, etc)
- People we seek favour from
- People who want to take advantage of us
- Thoughts Temptation process: (James 1:14-15)
But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.
- Drawn away, enticed, baited by own desire (lust, passion) … Drawn away from the path of righteousness … Departing from the light
- Yielding results in sin …. (What becomes sinful is not the temptation, but yielding)
- Sin matures unto death Who can be tempted: Everyone (Eve was tempted, David, Judas, Jesus)
How Does Temptation Arise?
Temptations can come through many avenues. We shall list a few of them so that we shall know how to watch out. Temptations can come through: (a)Poverty or prosperity (Prov. 30:9). (b) Discouragement (Ps. 42:11, 1 Kings 19:4). (c) Pride, the case of Nebuchadnezzar’s fall (Dan. 4:30); (d) Pleasure, that led Demas astray (11 Tim. 4:10) (e)Desire for power, that brought a curse on Simon Magus (Acts 8:19); (f) Material possessions, that ruined Achan (Josh. 7); (g) Love of woman, that ruined Solomon and caused the anger of God against David (Neh. 13:26, 11 Sam. 11:2-4). h) Love of money that led to the destruction of Judas Iscariot (Jn. 13:21-30).
What Are The Results Of Temptations?
There are two possible outcomes to temptations. We either yield to it or we resist it and overcome. If a Christian yields to temptation, it becomes a sin (1 Tim. 6:9). The result then is that the Christian’s testimony is badly affected and he becomes spiritually weak. On the other hand, if the temptation is resisted, the Lord is glorifies and the Christian grows spiritually stronger and is thus able to resist other temptations in the future.
The Victorious Christian grows in faith and maturity. God is happy because the determination of the Christian to obey Him is confirmed. How do we overcome temptation? 1. Acknowledge that temptation has the capability to bring you down and such a fall may be very costly with irreversible consequences … Don’t treat it with kid’s gloves … Example: Samson (Judges 16). 2. Acknowledge that nobody is too big to fall … The more anointed you have become the greater the fall if you allow it. Don’t underestimate the power of sin.
Nothing is more precious than our relationship with God and the reward of living in holiness.. Romans 8:35-38 4. Build yourself continually with prayer and the Word… Jude 20-21… Luk 22:40, Matt 26:41 5. Constant renewal of the mind … Romans 12:1-2 6. Take a stand quickly without giving an opportunity to review it. Be firm and resist… Joseph (Gen 39:7-10), James 4:7 7. Avoid situations and relationships that will make you compromise your faith (2 Cor 6:14-18), 1 Thess 5:22, Ephe 5:10-12