66 – Temptation

God does not tempt people nor can temptation have any sway with Him. This is important to consider when understanding both God and temptation. They are incompatible. God would never consider turning to the Darkness because He is Light. Things just don’t work that way.

Temptation to sin comes to everyone. It even happened to Jesus when he went to the desert to pray before starting his public ministry. This was possible because Jesus existed as a human in the flesh; the Father was not tempted nor the Holy Spirit. Temptation can only be done to flesh, with or without a sin nature from Adam.

The Bible is silent on whether Satan continued tempting Jesus after that, but it is a good bet that Satan did not suddenly wise up and end his futile efforts when Jesus was baptized.

Being tempted does not make you any kind of bad person. God does not count it against us for being tempted. Often times, God allows Satan and his demons to tempt us to sin, merely to “test” and thus strengthen us. If the devil gives you a test, keep it; don’t give in to temptation.

During times of temptation, we might be able to call on Jesus’ name to make the temptation stop, especially if it is from a concerted demonic attack. But, sometimes that doesn’t work.

Temptation may be so strong that it takes hours or even years to resist. But usually, this kind of temptation only happens when we have been involved in that tempted sin for a long time and we are breaking free of the old, bad habits related to it.

Resisting temptation eventually makes the temptation stop. It will return, but less and less frequently. If you don’t give in, demons just won’t see you as a worth-while target.

There are two main things we can do about temptation: prepare and resist.

It’s not if, it’s when temptation comes your way. Read your Bible often. Pray often. Praise Jesus and tell him that you love him often. Focusing on God’s goodness will strengthen you. In the midst of temptation, do the same. Temptation’s appeal weakens the stronger your life in God.

Luke 4:1-13, 1 Corinthians 10:13, James 1:12-15