18 Mar KDW-Part 1 of 3: 3 Fundamental Principles of Temptation
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Kingdom Dynamics Weekly (KDW) March 18, 2019 By Tunde Olugboji Vol 19:10
Series Title: Standing strong against temptation
Part 1 of 3: 3 Fundamental Principles of Temptation
The dictionary defines temptation as the act of tempting, enticement or allurement, something that temps, entices, or allures. The Bible encyclopedia however explains that the word temptation primarily denotes a trial in which man has a free choice of being faithful or unfaithful to God; only secondarily does it signify allurement or seduction to sin.
The purpose of temptation is to undermine God’s plan and will (Gen 3:4-5), to divert us away from God’s way (John 10:10), and at its core, to deny the authority of God and deceive us into believing that we can live our lives independent from God.
Temptation often starts in hearts and minds, with thoughts playing in our heads, creeping into our deepest motives and desires. (Jas 1:14-15). 1 John 2:16 succinctly summarizes the 3 fundamental principles of temptations, or the 3 devices the devil uses in tempting us, which the Bible says comes not from the father but from the world: lust of the flesh; lust of the eyes; and the pride of life. Under each of these principles we can group various types of temptations, from sexual immorality to outright rebellion against God.
Did you notice that Satan used these devices to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?
1. Lust of the Eyes: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye.” (Gen 3:6)
2. Lust of the Flesh: “…tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye.”
3. Pride of Life: “…and also desirable for gaining wisdom (like God)” (Gen 3:5-6)
Satan used similar devices to tempt Jesus in Mat 4:1-11.
1. Lust of the Flesh: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Mat 4:3).
2. Lust of the Eyes: “the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Mat 4:8).
3. Pride of Life: “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me” (Mat 4:9).
Is being tempted a sin? No, falling headlong into it is. Jesus was also tempted, as highlighted above. Yet, he was without sin (Heb 4:15 ). Every Christian is faced with some kind of temptation. It is how we deal with it that matters, not if it comes our way, because it will surely do.). If we are fully immersed in Christ and all he has to offer, temptation will no longer have dominion over us.
Can you pray this week for the calmness and patience to recognize temptation and the grace to sidestep it just like Jesus did when he was tempted by Satan? Declare this week: My father in heaven, I am aware that temptation will come, but I am also aware that you have equipped me with the sword of the spirit to deal with anything the devil may throw at me. Help me to always reach out for this offensive weapon, to enable me come up tops, every time I face temptation.