Truly Tempted or Not

by | Jun 7, 2024 | transcripts | 0 comments

Hello and welcome to another episode of Worldwide Wonderful Women. I am your host, Paula Harris, and this podcast is for women who are all about learning how to live in God’s divine power. It is produced on behalf of Transformed Worldwide Ministries. Thank you so much for being here.

Blessings. This is Episode #363, and it’s entitled “Truly Tempted or Not.” Have you ever been tempted? Are godly Christians vulnerable to temptation as others?

Well, let me just say right off of the top, yes, yes, yes, we are. I don’t care how godly you are, you are never above ever being tempted. If our Lord and savior Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness, how in the world do we think we’re going to escape temptation from the enemy, from the world, and our own flesh? Even now, there’s a lot of temptation in regard to gender identity, the institution of marriage, truth that’s given in God’s Word—Don’t get me started! It goes on and on and on. But I want to just share some thoughts with you regarding us as godly Christians and the role that temptation can even play with us. I believe the Gospel of John records something that is important for us to remember. Judas was about to betray Jesus. And this is what Jesus said in John 14:30 -31. It says, “Hereafter, I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world cometh and have nothing in me, but that the world may know that I love the father. And as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise. Let us go hence.”

Now note the words of Jesus, “The prince of this world cometh and has nothing in Me.” The prince of this world is Satan. So how is Satan coming? Satan was coming through the conduct of Judas. He had nothing in Jesus, but the same could not be said of Judas. You could say Satan did have power or influence with Judas. The reason why he had this on Judas was because Judas gave in to temptation and sin when he decided to betray Jesus. Now, more could be said about this, but I do not want you to lose the train of thought. So, Satan had something on Judas because he sinned. Now, you can almost picture a hook in Judas because he sinned. By having a hook in Judas, Satan could pull and lead him in the direction that pleased him, just like you can pull and direct a fish once you have him on a hook. This is important for us to remember and for us to think in regard to temptation.

Now, in contrast, Jesus said that Satan didn’t have anything in Him, so Jesus was and is the sinless Son of God. And unlike Judas, Satan did not have a hook in Jesus, so Satan had no part in Jesus. Satan did not influence His behavior at all. Furthermore, Satan did not have power over Jesus. Hallelujah! Let’s say hallelujah on that one! Jesus would voluntarily yield to His death on the cross in love and obedience to the Father. But Satan did not make Him go to the cross. You can read that passage again that I just gave you out of John.

All right, so now let’s look at another incident in Scripture where Satan influenced the behavior of an individual. I’m going to read to you now Mark 8:31 -33. “And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed. And after three days, rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when he turned around and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, get behind me, Satan, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

In this incident, Peter had a hook in him. In other words, Satan was influencing his thoughts and his words. He was rebuking Jesus. I mean, who’s going to rebuke Jesus—Who knows all truth and declares all truth. Well, Jesus addressed Satan directly when He spoke to Peter. Again, Satan had nothing in Jesus. But at the same time, this could not be said of Peter.

Now, to be fair, Jesus is the only sinless man that walked on this earth. He is the only one that could be tempted and remain sinless. We know we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And we also know in Romans 5:12 it says, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world
and Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone. For everyone has sinned.” So even though as a Christian, your sins will never be held against you because of Jesus substitutionary death for you, sin and temptation are still taking place in this world. As sure as you’re a human being who breathes every day, you will encounter sin and temptation in this world until Jesus comes back. What we need to learn is to live in a way that does not allow the enemy to put a hook in us, so to speak. We need to live so that we do not sin, permitting Satan to have place in our lives. In other words, we don’t want him to have anything in us. And really, of course, Christians cannot be demon possessed. A Christian is the holy temple of God. And cannot house the Holy Spirit of God and an evil demon at the same time. You can look at 2 Corinthians 6:15-16.

It’s not like the days of Judas and Peter, when the Holy Spirit only came upon people to accomplish a task. It was not until the victory was won by Jesus’ death and resurrection that the Holy Spirit came to abide always within believers. The permanent filling of the Holy Spirit first took place on the Day of Pentecost. However, Satan and his demons can oppress and tempt Christians. Surely today he can influence you through tempting you by your own flesh, the world, and his schemes in regards to sinning.

The goal is not to give Satan a place in your life by yielding to sin. To do so would be to walk out of the light of God’s fellowship into the darkness of this world, which is Satan’s dominion. This would be the same as allowing him to place a hook in you and influence your conduct. Now, just as Satan had nothing in Jesus because he was perfectly sinless and holy, you should passionately pursue to live a holy life as well. And we see this in 1 Peter 1:15. Satan had no power over Jesus, and he doesn’t have power over you unless you yield to him. In 1 John 4:4 it says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus, who is in you, is greater than Satan who is in the world. So, Satan can tempt you to sin, but he cannot make you sin. That is a willful choice that you have to make.

Giving into temptation starts by allowing a good desire to get out of control. And if this desire is not brought under the control of the Holy Spirit, you will give place or control to the enemy, to Satan. Then here comes the hook. Remember, he should have nothing in you. I used the hook to give you an illustration to keep in mind when yielding into temptation, which is sin. No one, I don’t care how godly you are, is going to live your life without being tempted. Now here are a few things to remember about temptation as well.

There is not one Christian who has not been tempted. It is a common place or a common thing to all of us. Just because you are tempted does not mean that you’ve sinned. Jesus was tempted and He is without sin. Again, everyone is tempted, but the sin does not occur until you give into the temptation. It is only when you go ahead and involve yourself in the temptation that sin has taken place.

Sin is a willful decision to give into temptation. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience, and God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” So, there is a promise from God that He will always provide a way for you to escape temptation. The only thing is, you must be willing to see your escape and to take it. But it’s your choice, God’s way or Satan’s way, and that is it. One will lead to life and the other will lead to death. As a Christian, you’re not talking about your eternal life being taken away, but your sweet fellowship will be hindered. Sin will break your fellowship with Holy God. This is the separation that will take place. It is not worth it. Don’t give into temptation. Although you may be surprised by the magnitude of the temptation and its destruction, but God never is. He’s omniscient, and He sees all things. This is how He’s always able to provide an escape for each one of us right on time. In 2
Peter 2:9 it confirms that God is able to deliver the godly out of temptation.

The source of your temptation is the devil. God is not the source of anything that would cause you to fall away from Him. You can look at James 1:13. However, God will allow you to face temptation so that you may face it, overcome it in His strength, and become stronger in your Christian walk. His allowance is always for your good, not for your destruction. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” That is why he is faithful to always provide a way out for you. Satan’s purpose for your being tempted is always for your destruction. Satan tempts for evil purposes, but God allows for good purposes.

Temptation begins in your mind with a desire. The desire spins out of control until you commit some act of sin. In James 1:14-15 it says, “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.” Satan would have you believe that if you strongly desire something, you may as well go ahead and do it because you’ve already sinned. But that’s not true. No matter how strong your flesh may cry out, if you resist, you will have been obedient to God. Satan may convince you that doing it one time is not wrong. Satan will always attack where we are most vulnerable. Now, this is how it is normally played out. You get an evil thought, and you dwell on it. It festers and grows, sometimes multiplying into some evil thoughts or attitudes. And then you carry out an evil act of sin. That’s normally how it unfolds.

Dr. Charles Stanley warns it is easier to give into temptation when you are physically tired, hungry, or lonely. This is so, so true. Other times of temptation may come easily when you have periods of idleness, are under emotional stress, are fearful or anxious, or even at times of blessings because you’re tempted to become prideful.

Being tempted does not necessarily mean that you’re weak. It could be a sign of being strong. The stronger you are as a Christian who resists temptation, the more of a threat you are to Satan and his kingdom. You will be a strong warrior for the kingdom of God by consistently overcoming when you’re tempted. The Lord rejoices over you while the enemy is upset about you. As you become stronger, turn around, though, and strengthen others.

So, as we’re wrapping up, let Satan have nothing in you. Satan will try over and over again to defeat you, but walk in such obedience to the Lord that he cannot gain any ground in your life or place any hook in you. The more you resist Satan, the stronger you will become.

I mentioned some ways in which we’re all being tempted right now regarding what God’s Word says and what the world says. Trying to revamp or restructure marriage and gender and even the belief in God’s word. We have to be careful not to compromise. To compromise means to give into our flesh, the world, and Satan. Compromise is cooperating with what is against God’s commandments. For example, to live with someone of the opposite sex without being married, to match yourself up with an unsaved person, to commit fornication or adultery, or to take advice from worldly news or magazines. I could go on and on and on. Even as a Christian, you may reason “Everyone lives like this. And Paula, I know what you’re saying, but everyone’s doing it.” But may I say to you, if you are the only one that decides to obey and follow God’s word and not yield to temptation, I pray that you would be that one who would stand up and say, “No, I am going to follow the Lord, not the world, not the devil, and not my own flesh.”

Well, I hope that this discussion on temptation, even as a godly Christian, just encourages you and puts you into remembrance of some things. Because I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how strong you are in the Lord, you will be tempted. Well, join us again next month and please
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Paula is compassionately committed to biblically teach and mentor women who desire to be renewed in their minds by God’s eternal Word so their destinies will become a reality. She goes beyond sharing biblical principles to practical application for everyday living. Learn more here.

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