We live in a world where an enemy of our soul seeks to destroy us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
We are tempted multiple times a day to disobey God. It doesn’t matter who you are, and what temptation you are offered, the fact is that we all face the lies of our enemy, Satan. I have learned the main part of having success over temptation is dying daily to self. I personally don’t want to die to self when I am operating in the flesh. It pleases me to do what I want to do, and Satan knows this.
Though we live in the world, we do not wrestle with the world. Our battles are spiritual, and not of the earthly realm. What I mean is that when we are tempted by something in this world, behind the scene is a sneaky enemy that we cannot see or touch. He seeks to destroy us. His main way of tempting is through deceit.
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3
Clyde Cranford said of Satan,
“When he lies he is just being himself; deception is his very nature. And deception is also his primary strategy in dealing with men…Knowing the truth is only half the battle; we have to choose to believe and act on it.”
We Naturally Want Sin
Most of us know about this spiritual warfare, but it isn’t enough to just know it. The other half is actually acting on what we know to be true. Again, this goes back to dying to self. Our flesh doesn’t want God. It’s hostile towards God (Romans 8:28). We have a flesh that loves sin and an enemy who knows the sins we love and will tempt us accordingly. He knows your patterns and earthly desires more than you know them. He has not only studied you, but he has lived long enough to have studied the human race as a whole. One thing to realize is that He has already been defeated. We must walk out our victory on this earth.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
God is for Our Good
The enemy wants us to believe that God doesn’t want us to enjoy life. Satan deceives us into thinking God takes all the fun out of living and only gives us harsh demands. This is one of his lies that we often fall for. The reality is, all things apart from God are tainted by sin and will ruin us if we continue on indulging in it. God knows what is good for us, and He gives freely to those who are His.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
God is Not Like Us
Satan deceives us into believing God is impersonal. This is also a lie! God is an intimate Father to His children. He is well acquainted with us. He knows our very next thought. He knows how many times you got up and sat down today. He is always with us. He is not distant (Psalm 139).
The enemy tells us God is impatient. This is so far from the truth. God is not like us. His love is steadfast. We can get upset at having to wait too long in traffic, or for having to wait 2 minutes longer at the drive-through than we expected. Our God is not like this, but is patient and loving!
One of the most helpful things I came to know was that Satan is not God’s rival. He and God are not fighting for our hearts on an equal level. I used to think of Satan as this great enemy that I must fight with fear. He is very sneaky and very deceitful, but he is not equal with God. Satan is a fallen angel. Our wrestle is with fallen angels, not with beings equal with God.
But the dragon was not strong enough, and no longer was any place found in heaven for him and his angels. Revelation 12:8
In that light, my view of Satan’s ability changed. He is ruled by God!
Satan’s behavior is allowed by God, and he does nothing without permission. When we think of the enemy, he should be viewed as the opposite of a good angel like Gabrielle, not the opposite of God. See how much smaller our enemy is compared to the King of kings!?!
Temptation Can be Positive
Another truth that helps during temptation is seeing it in a positive light. Even though temptations are used to pull us away from God, it can be an opportunity to express love to God. When tempted, try to see it as an opportunity to obey God, which is pleasing to Him. The enemy can’t make you sin, He can only offer the sins that he knows you like. If you begin to see obedience as a way to love God, some of the alluring aspects of the temptation become less appealing.
In the end, it is a choice. We must choose Christ over sin. We must resist and draw near to God. We must use the sword of the Spirit, and the shield of faith. While doing these, we have to pray (Ephesians 6). We receive our strength through God alone. We are weak and frail, but He will help us to endure if we come to Him for help to resist. Whatever the enemy is offering you, know that Christ is better. Satan is offering you the knock-off of the real thing. Christ is the real thing!
"Such abundance is our portion with our God." - William Williams
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