“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” —- 1 Cor. 10:13 (NKJV)
In today’s Christendom, temptation has become a dreaded term because it basically involves the propensity to sin and to be spiritually separated from God. More often than not, temptation attempts to rob us of the blessings of God.
This verse encourages us that no temptation is peculiar to us because someone else has also gone through the same. However, we need to recognize that temptations come into our lives for a purpose but without an understanding of what temptation is all about, we will not know how to handle it. Hosea 4:6 tells us that God’s people perish because of the lack of knowledge.
What is Temptation?
Temptation is simply a form of a trial or testing.
There are two main sources of temptation namely the devil and the flesh.
The only reason for the devil’s temptation is to make us disobey God and go against His will for our lives. Example abounds in Job who was tempted by the devil after permission was granted by God. Matthew 4:1 also records that Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. This case however is unique in that Jesus, who is the second Adam needed to be proved morally ready for his ministry because the first Adam failed in a similar temptation by the devil.
Every day we encounter temptation, we are always presented with two choices – God’s will and the devil’s alternative. The one we choose will reflect what appeals to us more.
When we give our lives to Christ, it is our spirit that is being renewed. Hence we have to discipline our bodies. James 1:4 says temptation stems from our own desires. God gave man desires and appetites but we have a choice to use them in a healthy or destructive way. However, it is also our responsibility to align our desires with the will of God.
Just like the Lord Jesus, God allows temptation in our lives to train and prove us. For example after receiving a dream of the plan of God for his life, Joseph had to overcome a series of temptations which eventually proved him ready to fulfil God’s calling upon His life.
We should remember that the devil does not give up tempting us. There are times when we might think we have overcome some bad habits only to see ourselves falling into them again. We have the power within us to deal with these temptations – Eph. 3:20.
One of the weapons the devil uses against Christians during temptation is the ignorance of God’s word. The devil did not prevail against Jesus Christ because he knows both what the word of God says and what it does not say. We make ourselves vulnerable to temptation when we only know snippets of God’s word. Knowing what the word of God does not say is as equally important as what He says. Therefore we should study to show ourselves approved so that we can be equipped for every good work – 2Tim 3:17.
Finally brethren, it is only when we are led by the Spirit that we are guaranteed victory over temptation and only then would we be called the children of God.