What does the BIBLE say about Temptation
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Dealing Wisely with Temptation
Writer: Charles Stanley | www.intouch.org
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:1-14
As believers, we sometimes hear wrong information about temptation. For instance, many people believe that feeling tempted is sinful. But Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert. (Matthew 4:1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.Matthew 4 verse 1) If the Lord remained righteous after being encouraged to do wrong, then temptation itself cannot be a sin. We must guard against false ideas that could disrupt our ability to stand strong.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4:1-11
The truth about temptation is that it's an enticement to take our God - given desires beyond God - given limits. We all feel the pull of our natural, sinful selves to do and think things that are immoral. In this lifetime, we will never be so mature or spiritually minded that we can relax our vigilance. Satan will always try to capitalize on our weakness and selfish desires.
Temptation is based on fantasy - the capacity to enjoy something we want to possess or do, without actually taking any action. However, the lack of action is deceptive. We tell ourselves it's okay just to think as long as we don't act. But if we allow ourselves to dwell on a tempting thought, that idea connects to emotions and produces desire. Desire grows until a choice must be made about whether to act. Temptation starts small - with a "one won't hurt" attitude: One drink. One lie. One kiss. The problem is that once we give in, sin gets bigger and more demanding until one turns into a lifestyle.
Thankfully, our Source of help is greater than both Satan and our fleshly desires. The key to victory over temptation is to protect our relationship with God.