The Struggle With Temptation
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No matter what specific form temptation takes in our lives, the enemy uses a fairly standard process to get us off track. And it is as effective as ever.
First, we begin to think about the object of our desire. We play with it in our mind, imagining how we would feel if it were ours. Isn’t it interesting that no matter how many blessings God has showered upon us, we always seem to focus on the one thing we do not have! We must ask ourselves, Could the enemy be trying to redirect my focus?
Remember, Satan wants to alienate us from the Lord. If he can get us to take our eyes off God and instead fix our attention on what we feel we’re lacking, then he can lead us to temptation.
Next, the thought builds until it finally gives way to full-blown desire. This intense longing is the culmination of our imaginings. We’re no longer content simply to enjoy the object in our mind; now, we must actually have it.
Finally, the desire leads to a choice. Here is where we make the decision, Will I give in to this sin, or will I lay it down and submit to the Lord’s will for my life?
Through the Holy Spirit’s power, we have the ability to walk away at any point in the process of temptation. We are never helpless to defuse the situation, no matter how much momentum has built up.
Do you ever feel as if you are powerless to stop a growing temptation in your life? Understanding the nature of this progressive process can help you to stand firm against the enemy’s tactics.