YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE TO TEMPTATION
Some years ago, it was a season when I needed money. I left home to visit an uncle of mine who came into town. While with him, he stepped out for a bit. There was a huge sum of money on his bed.
Do you know that strange thoughts began to come to me, “Why don’t you take a little out of the money? Your uncle will never know. At least, you have a lot of needs”. I was shocked that the devil could give such suggestions to me. I rebuked that strange thought but I learnt some lessons:
First, no one is immune to temptation. No matter how mature you are in the faith, the devil would still tempt you. If Jesus was tempted, you will be tempted. Never live under the assumption that “It can never happen to me”. If you do, you will likely return saying, “I don’t even know how I fell”.
Second, you must understand that your needs and desires are what the enemy will use to tempt you. The devil did not suggest that Jesus should turn stones into bread until he was sure that Jesus was hungry and he desired bread.
For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Matthew 4:2-3 NLT
Third, Your desires are powerful. It can take you to the top and it can take you to ground zero. You must tame your desire.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:14-15 NLT
If you desire wealth, you will be surrounded with the opportunity to steal, cut corners and manipulate for money. Be careful when you need money. Even if you are a pastor, you can begin to preach for money. You will start weighing invitations financially before accepting them. Be careful.
If you desire emotional warmth and you have sexual needs, be careful. You can begin to call every sister or brother sweet names because you desire attention. You can begin to scheme to receive hugs. You will start justifying nonsense. Be careful. The devil will plant needy males or females around you. What started as friendship can end up as “friends with benefit”. Warn yourself.
Finally, be sincere with yourself:
• Tell yourself that you are not immune to temptation.
• Be a student of the Word. The Word is your antidote to strange thoughts. Jesus replied the devil with “It is written” and “It is written again”. Know the Word.
• Stay in a circle that holds you accountable. Run from those who flatter you. Do you have anyone you can confess to when you are getting tempted? Or you must keep pretending?
• Stay hungry for divine things. Be hungry for the Word. Be hungry for fellowship with God. Use your desire for kingdom advancement. Leave no space for the devil.
May you finish well.
temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa.