Temptation is “a strong urge or desire to have or do something you should not, especially something that is wrong or bad.” It is important to understand that temptation is not a sin. It is yielding to temptation that is a sin.
You might be going through one or some of the following temptations presently. Definitely, there is a tendency for someone of the opposite sex to desire that you have a sexual intercourse outside marriage. You could be tempted to beat up your wife, husband or fiancée. There could be a temptation to divorce your life partner or abandon the person with the children and run away in the face of hardship. There could be temptation to cheat your spouse in financial matters. You could be facing a temptation to pick quarrel with your in-laws. There could be temptation to take advantage of a girl or lady that approached you (a man) for assistance under pressure. There could be temptation to say ungodly enticing words to an attractive lady despite the fact that you have your own wife. You may be considering marrying a second, third or even fourth wife despite the Christianity identity card you parade.
The temptation to have sex with your boss or subordinate in the office could come. You could be faced with a temptation to snatch a husband or fiancee from your close friend or even someone else. Perhaps you are being tempted to go seek a child outside wedlock. There could be a temptation to kill someone. You could be tempted to lie or bear false witness against someone. Are you being tempted to marry someone against your wish? There could be a temptation to rape or sexually harass someone.
The LIST IS ENDLESS. Just as birds can never stop flying in the sky, temptation to sin can never stop coming. Anyone that expects temptation to stop coming to him or her is expecting the devil to cease existing. The person is living in ignorance. “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them” (Proverbs 1:10 NIV)
It is your ability to overcome temptation(s) that gives you validity before God and man. Church attendance identity card and altar sitting position cannot give you true victory in Christ Jesus. By your own power, you cannot achieve this. You need Jesus to take over your life so that you can resist temptations (John 15:5). But before then, do you believe it is possible? (Hebrews 11:6). If you don’t, there is no hope.
Temptation is not a sin but yielding to temptation is sin. You need grace of God to overcome temptation and only Jesus Christ can give you the grace. You must know that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purity unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV). The grace of God is not a preserve of some people.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it” (1st Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
What temptation are you facing that you think nobody has ever faced? There is nothing new under the sun. The truth is that God has confidence in you that you have the capacity to overcome that particular temptation. Remember Job. He knew that Job could withstand all that he went through. So, he allowed him to face the whole trouble. Did Job disappoint God? No!
So, each time you yield to temptation, you are disappointing God. He has confidence that you can overcome it but you refuse to rise to the occasion. He knew that Joseph would conquer the temptation from Portifar’s wife. So, he allowed the temptation (test of faith) to come to him.
God knows that you can forgive your spouse’s offence. So, he permitted that your spouse offends you. Now, you are refusing to forgive. Instead, you are comparing your spouse’s behaviour with that of someone else whose capacity for withstanding temptation varies just as the type of temptation the person can withstand varies. There are some challenges that you are facing today but treat them with levity. There is someone somewhere that if the person faces that same challenge, the person would commit suicide. Your capacity to overcome that temptation is far higher than that of the person.
We may not all face the same kind of temptation but we must all depend on the grace of God for victory. Herein lies God’s interest. Jesus already conquered for us through the price of death he paid on the cross. He overcame for you. Hand over your situation to him and you are fine. You cannot win by your own power. He said in John 15:5, “…without me, you can do nothing.”
Who told you that you cannot resist the sexual advances of your boss or subordinate? Who says you must give answer to the insulting utterances of your in-law or spouse? Who even says you must react to every quarrel proposal? These and others are all temptations that you have the capacity to overcome. The devil who originates temptations knows this. Unfortunately, you may not.
God is always standing by your side. Rise up to the occasion and get liberated from the bondage of sin.
“Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, Romans 6:16-18 NIV).
Refuse to be a servant to sin. Rather, serve righteousness for the good of your marital life and destiny.
A part-time Christian cannot defeat a full time demon. Devil, the originator of temptation is going to and fro, looking for whom he may devour.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1st Peter 5:8 NIV).
This is a 24/7 job. Unfortunately, the potential prey that the devil seeks, only seems to remember God on Sundays. As a matter of fact, many so-called Christians today only go to church on Sundays to respect the Sunday; not to respect the God of the Sunday. These are part-time Christians. There is no way such people can overcome temptation that comes from a full time smooth operator called Devil.
The devil uses human beings to operate his temptations. But why should I be this instrument of operation?
A prostitute (corporate, raw or classy) is looking for someone with whom fornication can be committed. Why should that person be me?
The devil wants to scatter a family with unnecessary quarrels, resulting from ego contest and pride. Why should my family be a victim?
Someone wants to seduce a married person to commit adultery. Why should I fall victim to such effort?
An innocent, ignorant, teenage virgin exposes her nakedness to a guy unconsciously and the devil begins to manipulate the guy, selling the idea of deflowering the girl. Why should this guy serve as the devil’s agent?
Your housemaid or wife’s sister is deliberately making efforts to seduce you into adultery. Why should you stand up to work for the devil instead of disorganizing his plans?
A person of the opposite sex is in trouble and needs your help. The devil says: “Take advantage of the person and have a carnal knowledge of the person.” Why should you yield to such destiny-destroying advice?
Don’t ever deliberately make yourself a source of temptation to someone. When you post a nude photo of your naked body or that of someone on the internet, you are a terrible enemy of God.
“Jesus said to his disciples: Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come” (Luke 17:1 NIV).
“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck” (Mark 9:42 NIV)
“I urge you brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them” (Romans 16:17 NIV).
To overcome temptation therefore, “Pray without ceasing” (2nd Thessalonians 5:17).
Prayer may however, not yield any results if it comes from someone who enjoys sin. This is because the prayer of the sinner is an abomination unto God (Proverbs 15:8, 28:9). You must “give no place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
Put God and holiness above every decision under pressure. If your fiancée says you cannot get married until you guys commit fornication, tell the person that holiness unto God is more important to you than the marriage.
Avoid avoidable danger zones. Do not mingle with prostitutes, drunks and hemp smokers and tell me you are being tempted. You are actually jumping into temptation intentionally to obtain a free visa to hell fire.
Avoid immoral utterances and conversations. Avoid immoral videos and telephone communications.
“Evil communication corrupts good manners” (1st Corinthians 15:33).
Don’t make jokes about sex with obviously ungodly people. Don’t even take them as best of friends. They will pollute your heart and push you into the river of sin through temptation.
Above all, you must allow Jesus Christ to take over your heart and possess it. It is his grace that can help you to overcome temptations.
Jesus said: “…without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5)
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord but out of a pure heart” (2nd Timothy 2:22 NIV).
Are you going through spiritual temptation? Maybe you attend church or mosque regularly. Yet, your dream life is in crisis. In fact, you hardly sleep because of spiritual attacks. You even suspect your spouse because of the role your spouse played in the dream as someone that is after your life and peace. Has your child or spouse suddenly begun to exhibit some totally strange behaviour such as canvassing or communicating with invisible people? These are forms of spiritual attack, and deliverance is possible.
Does your family suddenly record a bad news shortly after a positive miracle like wedding, safe child delivery, exam success, etc? Have you suddenly developed hatred for a member of your family for no just cause and even has the urge to harm the person? Do you sometimes have the urge to spiritually manipulate and kill someone or even yourself? This is the spirit of death. It has been sent by the devil to destroy you.
The first step towards deliverance from these and many other spiritual temptations is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and personal saviour. Then, you can enjoy authority over Satan, who Jesus has already conquered on the cross of Calvary. You can enjoy the benefits of the authority Jesus gave in Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Until you yield totally to Jesus, this scripture will remain mere text to you.
Submit yourself to the power from above and your marriage shall be a miracle and a testimony in Jesus name! Amen!.
FOR PRAYERS, COUNSEL, CONACT
Pastor Albinus Chiedu