Stepping Into Temptation
Temptation can be defined as an inducement to do evil. Three powerful forces work together to ruin a believer's character and witness: Satan, the world system, and our own lustful "flesh" tendencies. Being tempted isn't a sin, but yielding is. We commonly hear the expression "falling into temptation," but in reality, we walk into it, one step at a time. Throughout the journey, we have a choice to stop our downward progression into this dangerous territory or to move ahead and suffer the consequences.
The process starts in the mind. Preventing every attractive thought from entering our minds is impossible, but we can choose how long to hold onto each one. By entertaining an idea, we take another step downward into imagination. One of the Devil's greatest deceptions is convincing us that experiencing the pleasures of sin in our fantasies isn't really that bad. After all, we haven't actually carried it out.
Satan knows the power of our thoughts. By gaining this foothold, he has seized the greatest motivator of the human will—desire. Those "harmless imaginations" now turn into blazing passions that crave satisfaction. That's just a step away from uniting the desire with action, at which point all opposition has vanished and sin is accomplished.
Resisting temptation becomes harder with each progressive step. Begin the fight early by rejecting tempting thoughts and refusing to dwell on the promised pleasure. Instead, consider sin's consequences. The cost is always higher than the fleeting enjoyment. Turn toward God and start to obey.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.