A few years ago, Hollywood introduced a new reality television show called Temptation Island. This was a show designed to test the strength of a couple’s love. The couple in love were separated from one another and thrown into to a beach environment with good looking (and willing) singles of the opposite sex. Could they hold out? Could they stay true? Was their love strong enough to resist the temptation?
Without a doubt, that TV show is a sad commentary on American society. Its appeal was rooted in lust, betrayal and sexual immorality. In addition, Temptation Island taught us that the way to test your moral strength is to throw yourself into moral temptation. In my opinion, a more fitting title for that show would have been The Island for the Incredibly Stupid.
DEALING WITH TEMPTATION
Temptation is something all of us deal with. Everyone gets tempted, from the Billy Grahams of this world to the Billy Bobs. No one is immune to temptation. Even Jesus got tempted. The Bible tells us that temptation is common to man (1 Cor. 10:13). The question is not will you get tempted, but how will you be victorious over temptation?
Let me assure you of this: you and I will never have victory over temptation by purposefully placing it before us as was done on Temptation Island. If we have trouble with alcohol, we will never be successful staying away from it if we always have a six pack of beer in the frig. If we have trouble with drugs, we cannot keep a loaded crack pipe in the dresser drawer. If we have trouble with pornography, we cannot keep x-rated movies in the DVD player. The Bible clearly states, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh with regard to its lusts” (Rom. 13:14).
GOD WANTS US VICTORIOUS
How can you and I walk in victory? The battleground regarding temptation is in the mind. Sin starts in the mind… the devil works on the mind. He wants us to start thinking about that which is forbidden. Like Eve with the forbidden fruit, the devil wants us to fixate on that which is forbidden… on that which God clearly says, “Don’t do that.” The devil wants to get us to believe that the particular sin in question (whatever that sin may be) will satisfy us. Remember, the devil is a liar and a deceiver. The thing that looks so good will not really satisfy. It is like drinking salt water, it will not satisfy our thirst… it will just leave us sick, ashamed and in want.
The Bible tells us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). If I do not allow my mind to dwell on that which God says is wrong, but rather focus my mind on that which God says is right (Phil. 4:8), I will win the battle. By taking every single thought that crosses my mind captive to the obedience of Christ, temptation will not be allowed to gain momentum and strength in my life.
GOD WANTS US HAPPY!
Mark it down: the happiest people in life are the people who walk in God’s ways. (Ps. 119:1). They are the ones who go to bed at night clean… and free… and joyful because they are right with God. The most miserable people in life are those who swallow the devil’s bait and succumb to Temptation Island. Momentary pleasure for lasting pain is just not worth it (Gal. 6:7-8).
God wants to bless us and give us strength in our battle against temptation. He will enable you and me to win IF we yield to His Spirit, set our minds on Him and get ourselves off the island!
From His Heart Ministries can be seen on LightSource.com. This is another opportunity to reach people throughout the world with the love of Christ. Tell your friends and check us out at http://lightsource.com/ministry/from_his_heart/.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for almost 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls.
Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you.
Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry.
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