July 07, 2016

What Is Temptation?

Matthew 26:41

Everybody experiences temptation. No matter how spiritual you are or how long you’ve followed Christ, you have been tempted. Sometimes this experience seems like a faint whisper, and other times it’s an unbearable shout in your mind. Regardless of how it sounds, you know just what temptation feels like. But if someone asked, could you define the term?

Temptation is simply an enticement to take a God-given desire beyond God-given boundaries. Many people reject this idea, refusing to believe that guilt-instilling allurements could be even remotely related to the Lord. But think about it: In what ways are you most often tempted? In the area of material possessions? Intimacy? Companionship? Food? These are all things that God not only created but also uses to bless His people. The problem comes when we—who still carry around the old “programming” of our flesh nature—take those drives beyond the healthy limits that God has set for our lives.

For example, He created sex for enjoyment within a marriage relationship. However, when this divinely approved desire is corrupted by physical intimacy outside of marriage, then what the Creator designed for His purposes becomes a source of guilt and shame. That is not what God intended.

One of the enemy’s top strategies is to distort a God-given drive for his own vile purposes. You can short-circuit such an attack: Remind yourself where this urge came from in the first place, and then ask God for the strength to use such drives for His glory, as He intended.

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