The other day, I walked past a bank and never considered robbing it. The thought of stealing cash just never crossed my mind. Do you find that strange or unusual?
Statistics reveal that over 5,500 banks are robbed each year in the USA. So, some see a bank as a potential nest egg for themselves. The temptation to “knock off” a bank, crosses the mind of many individuals, and a sizable fraction actually put on their ski masks and commit the crime.
There is an interesting Scripture in Hebrews 12 (NLT) that speaks about temptation. Verse 1 says, “let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” Apparently, we each have a besetting sin that uniquely challenges us at certain times in our lives. If so, what temptation is the one that trips you up?
Adam and Eve wanted to be like God (Genesis 3), and they hungered for the knowledge that God had withheld. They represent those who are never satisfied. God had been good to the first couple, and provided more than enough. But, it was not enough. Their craving for more would not end until they had lost everything. Do you know people like that?
King David had it all. Authority, wives, armies, and wealth that were the envy of other world leaders. But he didn’t have Bathsheba. Blinded by his flawed reasoning, David charged into the trap of covetousness. David lived to regret this horrible choice (Psalm 51), and tried to overcome his own besetting sin. But many were hurt by his selfishness.
Satan knows that everyone has a temptation that could make them fail. Could it be booze, or pornography, or drugs, or gambling, or simply isolation? Then, when that opportunity to sin flitters by, the weak soul embraces the unthinkable. Is that you?
Satan tempted Jesus with the top three allurements that usually worked on lesser men (Matthew 4). Many had fallen to the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of the eyes. The gutters of hell are filled with strong-willed individuals who said they could never be tricked. Indeed, some barely even fought the temptation before they gave in.
Jesus alone was tempted in every way but never committed sin (1 Peter 2:22). The rest of us must learn from Christ and seek the power of the Holy Spirit to be overcomers. Ephesians 6 reminds us that we must fight the good fight of Faith every day. We must put on the armor of God to withstand the attacks of the enemy. Will you fight or fail?
1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that whatever temptation Satan is using against you, it has been tried before. It can be defeated in the Name of Jesus, if you will try. Like Joseph in Genesis 39, turn and run in the opposite direction. God will help you if you will trust Him.