March Madness | The Madness of Failure | Temptation
The LORD directs the godly. Though they stumble, they never fall, for the LORD holds them… Psalm 37:23-24
“I’m really struggling with my faith,” Ellie admitted to her life group. “I’m tempted to start drinking again and when my boyfriend asked me to move in with him…” She bit her lip and tears threatened. “I really thought about it,” she whispered. Anna laid a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “We understand what temptation feels like,” she said. “And so does Jesus. You know, being tempted is not a sin.” Ellie looked up, surprised. “It’s not? I thought good Christians were past all that.” Anna laughed. “I’m afraid nobody gets past being tempted, or struggling with doubts at times. Satan wants you to turn away from God because of it. Jesus wants you to turn toward Him in the middle of it. He’s holding you by the hand and helping you resist temptation.”
Wouldn’t it be great if there came a time when we were no longer tempted to sin? We could meet that goal and then coast the rest of the way to heaven. Unfortunately, as long as we live in fleshly bodies on a fallen planet heavily influenced by Satan, we will never reach such a point. Temptation of every kind screams at us 24/7, and sometimes we entertain thoughts of giving in. It’s a battle every day, but one in which the Lord fights alongside us. Satan throws temptation in our faces and then hisses: “Since you’ve thought about it, you might as well do it. It’s the same thing.” No, it’s not. We may stumble in our resolve, weaken in our commitment, and trip over doubts and frustrations, but with the Lord holding our hand, we don’t have to fall.
Final Thought: God delights in His children who fight off temptation and will keep us from being overcome by it (1 Cor. 10:13).
Prayer: Lord, it’s a relief to know that being tempted is not a sin. Help me develop resistance and endurance as I say no to Satan’s suggestions. Thank you for holding me by the hand and keeping me from falling into the enemy’s traps. Amen.