No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
Thoughts for Today:A lot of people think they are special as far as temptation is concerned. Some think they alone are singled out while others are left alone. Other people are too embarrassed to share their vulnerability or problems. They might doubt if their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have similar bad thoughts or continue to struggle with the lure of sinfulness. It leaves them feeling alone, isolated and uncertain of their own salvation. Temptation can to that to us -- make us feel dirty and unworthy. However, we might all be surprised -- even shocked -- to find out what tempts the people around us. But temptation, by itself, is not sin. Even Jesus was tempted. Hebrews 2:18: "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."
So how is temptation brought into our lives? In two ways: First, it is our own lust that makes us susceptible to temptation (James 1:14): "Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed." And second, Satan can come against us without doing anything wrong on our part -- just like he did to Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11. We've learned it is because Jesus was tempted in all ways that He doesn't frown upon nor condemn our struggles with sin. He says with compassion, "I know what you are going through." Just remember that while it is not a sin to be tempted; it is a sin to give in. Hebrews 4:15: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin."
In most cases, temptation is a trap we set for ourselves, versus a scheme devised by Satan. How so? It happens when we toy with the wrong kind of thoughts and attitudes -- then look for ways to justify our thinking. James said it well: "Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed." What's the solution? 2 Corinthians 10:5: "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." There are two keys to this passage: first, realize God has given us control over our thoughts; and second, we must know Scripture -- it is the perfect standard against which we are to compare our thoughts.
Questions to Ponder:In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus demonstrated how to deal with temptation -- He quoted Scripture. Eventually, Satan left Him alone (verse 11: "Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.") How are you doing with temptation? What does the Bible teach about the things that are tempting you right now? Read each one aloud. You will be amazed at how quickly temptation flees when confronted by God's Holy Word. Better yet -- memorize a verse that applies to your situation.