Falling into temptation. Isn’t that what they say?
However, one does not fall into temptation’s lure like falling into a pit. One slides down a slippery slope into it by deciding to take that first step toward it.
Temptation is not sin. The dictionary says temptation is the act of tempting, enticement, or allurement. Something usually regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral. To tempt is to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite, to try to get someone to do wrong, to put someone to the test especially with a promise of reward.
However, the Greek definition of temptation means something a little different: a putting to proof, the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy, with a beneficial purpose.
A beneficial purpose?
Image with me for a moment. Imagine you have gone to a conference of some sort in a town you have never visited before.
After one of the meetings, you decide to take a walk and look around the section of the city closest to your hotel.
As you walk down the sidewalk, you see shop after shop, each, of course, with a door.
And standing in each doorway is a hawker. You know, like one of those barkers at carnivals. Or maybe, it’s some slinkily dressed female.
One of them points a finger at you and calls out, “You! Come on in! I have something special to show you. I know you’ll love it. Come on; come see!”
Another beckons with his finger, shouting, “Have I got a deal for you! You’d better come in and get it. It won’t take but a second.”
Still another waves you to come in, belting out, “I bet you’ve never done this before. You don’t want to miss this.”
And on it goes. But do you go in? Now, that’s the $64,000 question.
This is the picture of temptation. It is a trial, a proving of your power to resist. You might glance in its direction, but you don’t respond to the call by pointing your feet in that direction and walking in the door.
Resist temptation’s beckoning finger and “let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.” (James 4:7 Msg) “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matt. 26:41 NLT)
Paul tells us that, “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.” (1 Cor. 10:13 Voice)
Yes, keep on moving. Don’t stop to spy in the window. Remember the game “I spy…with my little eye”? Well, what does your little eye spy? Where is it looking?
Does your little eye peek at adultery, porn, or visit gossip, pride, anger, cheating, lying, or anything else that God says is a no-no? Does any of it beckon you with its come-hither finger of temptation? If you do not stay in God’s Light, you will succumb to seduction, sliding down that slippery slope into sin’s dark pit.
Solomon spied everything and denied himself nothing, not homes, herds, gardens, slaves, and especially not women, and said so, “Whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any pleasure.” (Eccl. 2:10 Ampc)
David desired the opposite and told the Lord, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through Your word,” and “I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes…it shall not grasp hold of me.” (Ps. 119:37 NLT, Ps. 101:3 Ampc) (I hope he said that after Bathsheba!)
Do you desire the same as David? If so, don’t let your feet follow in the direction of your eyes. Keep your eyes pure, as Jesus said, “If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul.” (Matt. 6:22 TLB)
I pray you desire nothing less than…
…to bring glory to God’s Name in your daily walk,
…to have the power of resistance to pass the trial,
…to prove your fidelity to the Lord by not darkening temptation’s doorway,
…and to reap the benefit of God’s Light in your soul.