“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
Pastor Rick Warren out in California once said, “When the Holy Spirit gives you an idea, it’s called inspiration. When the devil gives you an idea, it’s called temptation.”
Some folks like to play games with the devil. They’re always “tempting fate”, trying and doing things they shouldn’t. So, maybe it’s time we look at temptation in a new way to help us act differently when confronted with sin.
What if we saw temptation as an opportunity to do the right thing? What if we used temptation to make us better and stronger and wiser? What if every temptation was a “teaching moment” where the lesson we learned was about our character?
Temptation is a guarantee for someone trying to live as Christ calls us to live. After all, as Jeremy Taylor once said, “The devil does not tempt people he finds already suitably employed.” If you’re already sinning or are indifferent to your fellow man, you’re already where Satan wants you, so he moves on to someone else.
But if you’re constantly being tempted, good for you. That means you’re on the right path and Satan is after you. And what a great compliment that is to Christ; that Satan wants what He has. And what a great compliment it is to you, that your soul is so valuable that both God and Satan want it.
Here’s the bottom line (and you all know how much I love the bottom line): don’t play games with the devil. Leave well enough alone and walk away as soon as you realize what’s going on. He’ll give everything he’s got to get your soul. He’ll use every trick in the book. God has already expelled him from heaven, and he’s already doomed to an eternity in hell so what else is there for him to lose?
And it’s dangerous to play against someone who has nothing to lose.
Eternal God, give us the wisdom and courage to walk away from temptation. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.