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!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Growth and change are part of the Christian life. Are you moving forward with the Lord or have you become complacent and stagnant? In the Christian life you either grow and glow or dry and die. What is the next step for you? Maybe it’s baptism, spending more time in the Word, strengthening your prayer life, or seeking a spiritual mentor to guide you in your growth. Discover the next step for you with this series from Pastor Jeff Schreve.