Today, I want to talk about temptation. Temptation, in my opinion, is simply the enticement to do wrong. During moments of temptation, you and I have a free choice to be faithful or unfaithful to God. The devil will often use subtle tactics to lure us into making a bad decision. Here are three basic ways the devil tries to tempt us.
The devil will tempt us to break our commitments. He will entice us to renege on our promises. All to prove to the non-Christian community that Christians cannot be trusted. He wants the non-Christian community to believe that Christians often say one thing and do another. Why? Because he is out to destroy our credibility. This is why Psalms 15:4 warns us, “…those who fear the Lord, who keep a promise even when it hurts, and does not change their minds.” During seasons of temptation, our credibility is on the line. Therefore, we must be willing to keep our commitments even when it is inconvenient and sometimes painful to do so.
The devil will tempt us to be impatient. In extreme cases, an impatient person can be overbearing, insensitive, and downright rude. The devil often pushes the envelope in this area because he knows impatience robs us of our peace of mind. It causes us to be unhappy people who are often unpleasant to be around. I like the way Proverbs 15:18 puts it in the Good News Bible Translation, “Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.” During the season of temptation, do not allow impatience to rob you of your peace of mind.
The devil will tempt us to be dishonest. Always remember, he will often tempt us to break biblical principles in exchange for presumably getting ahead in life. And yet, the Bible clearly says in Psalm 101:7, “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” During the season of temptation, we must resist the urge of taking ungodly shortcuts to get what we want in life.
Yes, temptation is basically the enticement to do wrong. The devil will often tempt us to break our commitments, to be impatient, and to be dishonest in our dealings. Yet, James 4:7 encourages us to, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” I am a firm believer that if we want to defeat the season of temptation, we must be willing to do things God’s way.