“I fear that somehow you will be led astray from . . devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 NLT
“Your strategy for success over temptation is very simple; choose to do what’s right.”
My thoughts today are about “temptation.”
No one is exempt from temptation. The area of temptation may vary, but the reality of it is common to all. I have been bit more careful about my diet lately to strengthen my health. Have you noticed how all of the wrong things look and sound so appetizing when you are on a diet? Sometimes when you try the hardest to do right, you still struggle with thoughts that oppose that, in spite of your best efforts. Paul understood that human dilemma, “So I discover this principle, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” Romans 7:21.
So, is that evil around you? Yes, most definitely. The Bible calls that the “world,” a spiritual gravitational pull that draws you down and away from doing right. But isn’t there evil also within you. Yes! The Bible calls that sympathy for sin, the “flesh.” And be aware, evil is also against you. The Bible calls that very real and sinister power, the “devil.”
Jesus warned Peter, “Satan has desired you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail.” Luke 22:31. Temptation does not just happen or only occur when you are not being careful. There is a purposeful and evil strategy for your failure and its entry point is your mind. Peter knew well what he was talking about when he later wrote, “Be sober. Be on the alert! Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion. “ 1 Peter 5:8.
As there is a complicated and committed strategy for your failure, you can have a simple strategy for victory over temptation and sin. You may have little choice in the temptation you face, but you have everything to say about whether or not you sin by yielding to temptation!
Your strategy for success is really very simple. Don’t invite temptation by enticing yourself with evil. Read James 1:14,15. Don’t join in others’ evil. Don’t hyperventilate about NOT doing wrong; simply choose to do what’s right. Keep your focus positive, and positively on Jesus. Always depend on Jesus’ victory over sin on your behalf. “But thanks be unto God, Who always causes you to triumph in Christ Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 2:14.
“But God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape that you may be able to be victorious.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. Yes, temptation is common, but use that very moment to look for God’s “exit sign,” which He has promised as the avenue for your escape. Do everything to maintain “your pure and simple devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 NLT.
My prayer for you today is: remember Jesus said He was praying for you. And so am I.