Temptations give us opportunity to chose God
When you think about it, if a temptation to do something wrong was not desirous, then it
would not be a temptation because no one would want to do it. Also temptations give us the chance to choose God and to demonstrate our faith, dependence and desire to be with him. If there were no temptations, then everyone would live holy lives. So in essence, in each temptation we face, we all have our own “tree of life and tree of knowledge of good and evil” so to speak in our pockets to choose from. Depending on which choice you make in the current temptation, it shows which tree you chose to pull out of your pocket to eat from and tell God what you truly want most. Life is not about end goals, but about the choices you make in order to get there. The choices we make show us and God (even though He already knows) where our hearts are at. You were made to spend eternity with God in heaven, but he gave you this short life to see if you really want to go there. Like Joshua said to the Children of Israel, “Chose this day (in each situation you face) who you will serve”. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Warnings From Israel’s History
10 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who created you to love and serve me above all else. Each distraction is an opportunity to show your love, commitment and desire for me above all else. Your choice would be meaningless if there was not something else to choose from besides me. Thus these alternatives must be very attractive to your human mind and desires. Your choice will give you victory or failure by what you hold dearest.
I AM the All Merciful God who forgives sin. But my mercy has a use by date; for my mercies may be new every morning, but you do not know how many mornings you have left. Do not take them for granted in your testing my mercy. Do not test my boundaries. You cannot confine me in a box of your expectations. Do not presume upon my grace and think that I do not care about your attitudes and behavior. Do not put off till tomorrow my salvation thinking you can fall back on it before you die. You never know when it will be too late. I give you my mercy so that you have time to repent Rom 2:4. Do not think that my love negates my justice for I AM equally and perfectly both. Just know that I am not limited to your natural understanding of either of them.
I AM the All Holy, Righteous God who judges sin. My Law reveals who I am in perfection. If you continue to test me, you will find me faithful to punish. Remember that I punished my own Son in your stead so that you can have the opportunity of eternal forgiveness. Don’t take it for granted. Utilize it, receive it. I am not like earthly fathers who only threaten to discipline. I make good on my promises. The soul that sins will die.
I AM the faithful God who gives you the whereabouts to stand up under temptation should you choose to trust me. I know that you will fail, that is why my Son paid for it for you. Thus, salvation is not about your faithfulness, it’s about mine. That is why salvation is about my glory in saving you, not about any glory to you for anything that you have done. It is a free gift so nobody can boast. Heaven is not a reward to be earned, it is my living place where only those who are “in Christ” will live with me.
How to have victory over sin
For where your heart is that is where your treasure will be, and vise versa. It is also seen by how you speak. Your thoughts will reflect this heart attitude, and your actions will reflect your thoughts see Ps 19:12-14, Ps 119:9-10; Rom 13:14; 2 Cor 10:5; Gal 5:16-18; Phil 4:8; Col 3:1-4 If we keep these things in mind, then when temptation comes, if our hearts are protected, then we will have a way of escape. If we are not protecting our hearts and minds like Psalms says then we won’t have the ability or the desire to escape. We cannot sin unless we first entertain it in our minds. Ask yourself when the situation arises; “What do I want more?” “You are the sum total of your desires.” As a Christian you cannot expect to serve God with any eternal value and chose to cater to your sin nature. Gal 5:16, 17 point that out. The whole point of Romans is to explain how to live in victory over your sin nature which you inherited from Adam. The victory is found in the Christ life –dying to our Adamic life and living unto God. See my posts on Rom chapters 5 – 8.
More to come,