Make no mistake about it, as Christians we WILL be tempted. While God will test us, God will not tempt us. But satan will tempt us. Satan and his army of demons will try daily to pull us further and further away from God and Godly ways. How can we resist temptation? How can we “just say no” to satan and his demons? Why, if we have already accepted Christ, are we still tempted? Keep reading…………
Note: Credit for this post goes to Mr. JJ Jennings of Happy Trails Cowboy Church in Glen Rose, Texas. At times, we hear or see things that so profoundly affect us that we can’t help but share it. This is one of those occasions and it came from my pastor, Mr. Jennings a while back. God has amazing ways of working in our lives and then telling us to “go” at just the right time. I sat on this “saying” Mr. Jennings put to us in Church some time back, not sure why I didn’t run with it and write on it. But after this mornings service, I was compelled to take it, combine it with the message today, and run with it.
Why Are Christians Tempted?
As a Christian, assuming you have said the sinners’ prayer and accepted Christ, our salvation is secure. It cannot be taken away from us. That being the case, why would satan and his demonic army even bother with us? He now has no power over us and we belong to God our savior forever. So why bother with us and not move on to those who are still lost?
What is God’s ultimate purpose for all of us? We can point to several scriptures that sum this topic up but we will look at a just a few here:
- Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! God wants us, as humans, to praise him, love him, accept him, and walk with him daily, just as he does us.
- 1st Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. God is the very creator of everything that every was, everything that is, and everything that ever will be. He is the reason we are here. He is the reason for anything material we may have as well as the very breath we breathe. Without Him, nothing is possible but with him, anything is possible. Glorify and thank him for this, continually.
- Exodus 9:16 – But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. God wants us, as Christians, to spread the Gospel to everyone. Bring as many of the lost as we can to Him and repeat.
Now, lets revisit that original question. Why, as Christians who are already promised salvation, does satan even bother with us? Simple – to prevent us from fulfilling the purpose God has for each of us. The more we can be tempted, the more we give in to those temptations, the less effective we, even as Christians, will be at spreading the word of God. While satan cannot have us, he can prevent us from winning other over to the will of God.
How Do We Resist Temptation?
While sitting in Church one Sunday morning listing to my pastor, the topic of temptation came up and this is how it was explained, which hit home for me. Think back to Genesis and Adam and Eve. This story, known as the fall of man, goes like this:
Genesis 3: 1-6: Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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.
Now, go back and read the highlighted and underlined part above and focus on just that sentence. Eve SAW that the tree was good for food. She SAW it was “PLEASANT TO THE EYES”. The question here, as my pastor stated, is this: What was she even doing near the tree? God explicitly told them in Genesis 2:17, “…..but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Eve knew that if she ate from that tree, she would die, yet for some reason she gave in to the temptation and went to the tree. What was she doing near the tree anyway!!
The fall of man did not start with Eve taking the fruit from the tree, it started with her placing herself in a position close to temptation. How do you resist temptation? STAY AWAY FROM THE TREE!!!
Resist Temptation through the Fear of God
Luke 12:8-10 says, “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God“.
Stern words from our savior and wise direction for us all. The best defense against the temptations of satan is the Word of God himself. The Bible is full of encouragement and direction for us in any and all situations we find ourselves in.
God is telling us explicitly to spread His word, acknowledge him and bring others to him. So what are we afraid of? Are we afraid of offending someone in this day and age of “political correctness”? Are we afraid of being looked down upon? Luke 12:4-5 says, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him“.
What better direction do we need.
Put on the Full Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-18 gives awesome direction for us to resist the temptations of satan and his demons: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people“.
When temptation comes knocking at your door, stop, pause, and remember Eve who simply got too close to the tree. Stay away from the tree. Put on the full armor of God. Open your bible and seek direction from God himself. The directions are all there, step by step, word by word. Instead of walking towards the tree of unknown, first, open the map of the Word of God for directions.