By Elizabeth Prata
I found these three items today and they matched so well I thought I’d pass them along to you for your consideration.
The verse below says that every man is tempted. Of course we know that the word man here is generic. It isn’t saying that every man is tempted and no woman is tempted. The word in Greek means no one, or literally, ‘not even one’. It means that every person on earth who ever loved or will live, is tempted to sin. (Except Jesus).
We’re all sinners. We’re all boiling fleshly baskets of sinful lusts. We each have our own flavors of temptation, but we all have them. Living the Christian life, we are to pursue holiness, we are to be transparent to others in our lives and be accountable to our brethren, normally in the local church of which we are a member.
Who is responsible for our temptations? God? Satan? Ourselves? In this half hour sermon we learn the answer to that, through scriptures preached by John MacArthur
Look at your Bible as I read to you verses [from James 1] 13 through 18. “Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he anyone. But everyone is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin and sin when it is complete bringeth forth death. Do not err by beloved brethren, or do not be deceived, every good and every perfect gift is from above and is coming down from the father of lights, with whom is no variation neither shifting shadow. Of his own will begot he us with the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (James 1:13-18)
As we approach this text, let me have you look at verse 14, it begins with these words, ‘but every man is temped’.
What do we DO about our temptations? Lots of things. Prayer, staying in the Word, fellowshipping with like-minded brethren where Godly conversations occur repentance. But also, friendships. This Challies throwback article speaks of a practical way to work toward slaying that ole monster, our lustful temptations.
Roberts was talking about the kind of friendship men ought to have with one another and the kinds of questions they should be asking each another as they go through life together. Here is what he wants his friends to ask him: If you were the devil, where would you attack yourself?
Spurgeon had something say about temptation-
This Evening’s Meditation, (February 20),
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”—Matthew 4:1.
A holy character does not avert temptation—Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ’s case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work. Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of. Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Ghost, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still. In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial. Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness, and was tempted of the devil.
Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritual-minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation. The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against Satanic temptation.
Christ was consecrated through and through. It was His meat and drink to do the will of Him that sent Him: and yet He was tempted! Your hearts may glow with a seraphic flame of love to Jesus, and yet the devil will try to bring you down to Laodicean lukewarmness. If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armour, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation. Like the old knights in war time, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded hour to make us his prey. The Lord keep us watchful in all seasons, and give us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear. —end Spurgeon
And just for fun, here is CS Lewis with his famous book on temptation written from the point of view of a demon, The Screwtape Letters–
We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with the better.&
The first thing is to delay as long as possible the moment at which he realises this new pleasure as a temptation.
Like Joseph fleeing Potiphar’s wife, we must flee temptation. (cf 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22). Don’t flirt with it, don’t look at it through interlaced fingers, don’t be prideful and think you can “handle” it. Only Jesus could handle it. We can resist it through Him.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (Ephesians 6:10-18)