October 5, 2005
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
--1 Corinthians 10:13
Billy Graham once said, “You can’t keep the birds from flying around your head, but you can keep them from building nests in your hair.” We are often overtaken by temptation — or so it seems. It’s not uncommon for people to be reading the Bible and the most unbelievable thoughts, lies, and deceptions enter their heads.
You can be in church worshipping Jesus — singing hymns and songs of praise unto Him — and the most ungodly thoughts can pass through your mind. Have you ever experienced these things before? Do you wonder why it happens? Or maybe you think it’s just because you’re a “bad” Christian for thinking those things? You’re not alone. It is called temptation — the surprising, sudden, and seductive attack of Satan that plagues every believer.
Do you remember wrestling or fighting with your siblings as a kid? Do you remember finally becoming king of the hill, pinning one of them down, and shouting, “Say uncle! Say uncle! Give up or I won’t let you go!”? I sure do. Temptation moves just like that. If you begin to entertain the idea of sin, then you’ll ultimately find yourself in a crypt you can’t escape.
When temptation knocks at the door of your mind and heart, refuse to answer it. Recognize immediately that temptation is surprising, sustained, subtle, and secret. It’s your choice — you can pray for power at that moment of weakness or entertain and ultimately embrace the idea of sin. Trust that God will empower you to turn away from every opportunity of sin that Satan presents and determine to walk away.
BEWARE OF THE THREE REALMS OF TEMPTATION: PHYSICAL APPETITES, PERSONAL AMBITIONS, AND SPIRITUAL ALLEGIANCE.