Temptation is the plan of the devil and all it's cohorts, using all the powers available to them, to make you do what is wrong or say what is contrary to God's plan for you or think about what is out side the divine will of God. Temptation is Satan trying to break or destroy the relationship between you and the Almighty God. The goal of temptation is to break the relationship between you and your Creator and thereby make you commit sin. David said in Psalms 51:4 "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: ..." The tempter is Satan the devil. You can be tempted through your actions, words or thoughts. We shall now look at three ways you can be tempted by Satan.
•TEMPTATIONS THROUGH ACTIONS: Potiphar’s wife asked Joseph to have canal knowledge of her and thereby committing the sin of fornication. Joseph replied by asking this great question in Genesis 39:9 "... how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" If you are a fornicator or an adulterer (i.e. you are married and you are having canal knowledge of someone you are not married to), you are not only wicked but you are committing sin against the Almighty God. The only way you can overcome this temptation is by running. Joseph ran. So run away from every place or person that want you to commit this sin and wickedness against God. Paul counseled in 1 Corinthians 6:18 this way; "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." The Bible says, run away from the sin of fornication and adultery. Other sins done through action include masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism, examination mal-practice, bribery, stealing, kidnapping, fighting, etc etc
•TEMPTATIONS THROUGH WORDS: This is very rampart. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." The word idle is also interpreted as careless. It's possible you find it difficult to control what you say in the public, with very close friends and even with your partner; i.e. your husband or wife. God expect perfection from you. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Concerning the use of the tongue, carefully read James 3:2 "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." The sin Aaron and Miriam committed against Moses that made Miriam become a leper was in words. Do not allow familiarity with your wife, husband, children, friends etc make you use your tongue unwisely. Be warned. Learn from Miriam.
• TEMPTATIONS THROUGH THOUGHTS: This is a very difficult one to handle. Let's see what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Lust is defined as strong sexual desire. Your sexual desires towards someone you are not married to is defined as fornication or adultery to the single or married respectively. Read Isaiah 14:12-14 carefully. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." How did lucifer sin against God? It was through his thoughts. Before lucifer could execute his rebellious thoughts, God cast him down. Beloved, guard and guide your thoughts.
Next week, we shall consider how to overcome temptations.
Ven. Solomon O. Makun