Pastor (Mrs.) Yinka Adeyemi
Temptation is a force we contend with regularly on a daily basis. Temptation is to test something to determine its response, value and character. It is referred to in the Greek word as “peirazo” which is also used for trial.
According to Oswald Chambers:
A man’s disposition on the inside, that is, what he possesses in his personality determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation fits the nature of the one tempted and reveals the possibilities of that nature. Temptation yielded to is a proof that it was timidity that prevented the sin before.
C. S. Lewis in his submission said:
No one knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is that good people do not know what temptation means; this is an obvious lie! Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it; not by giving in.
1Cor 10:13 “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”.
James 1:13-14 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed”.
James 1:3 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience”.
The following points can be deduced from the scriptures above:
- Any attempt to entice someone into evil is often translated as TEMPTATION.
- A testing aimed at spiritual good is translated as TEST OR TRIAL.
Satan is the tempter not God. God does not entice anyone to do evil or to commit sin. Satan is the ultimate source of all evil desire. Matt 4:3 “And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread”.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN TEST AND TEMPTATION
- Test is aimed at making you stronger.
- Temptation is aimed at making you fall.
God gives us tests to make us stand and stronger. A good lecturer will test his students to make them pass; a bad lecturer will test his students to make them fail. Gen 22:1-2 “And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Behold me. And He said; Take now your son, your only one, Isaac, whom you love. And go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will name to you”.
God’s purpose was not to destroy Abraham or Isaac but to make them stronger. If you don’t face certain things or experiences in life you will not be strong. After Abraham was tested, he had a new understanding about God as Jehovah Jireh which means “God, our Provider”, Gen 22:13-14.
In Deu 8:2-3, the purpose God made the Israelites go hungry in the wilderness was to make them know man shall not live by bread alone. Do not be scared of divine tests. I want you to know that satan’s intention is to bring you destruction through temptation.
Let’s consider the following lessons from 1 Cor 10:13:
- Temptation is a common experience to all Christians. Do not justify temptation. You fall into temptation because you want to.
- You have the ability to overcome every temptation. The reason temptation comes is because you have the ability to overcome all temptations. Once temptation comes remember that you’re equipped, this understanding will make you overcome. Temptations are not so big and mighty, the only thing is know who you are.
- Temptation is not without God’s knowledge. God allows it because he knows you can overcome it.
- God’s way of escape does not necessarily remove you from temptation or make you immune to it. The reason we fall to temptations is because we think there is nobody there, Gen 39:1-12.
PRINCIPLES TO OVERCOMING TEMPTATIONS ADDUCED IN GENESIS CHAPTER 39
- Temptation often comes when you least expect it.
- Repeated temptation can be resisted only by those who know who they are. Temptations successfully resisted prepare you and makes you stronger for the work ahead.
- God’s way of escape is hardly ever easy but you must take it quickly.
- Those who resist temptation will be rewarded by God. God honours those who dare to say no to temptation.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Whenever you fall into temptation you just miss something glorious. A fall into temptation is a reflection of the actual state of our spiritual strength, Pro 24:10 “If you faint in the day of trial (temptation), your strength is small”. NKJV