We need to be free, free from all our bondages and one of the things that is holding us back are the temptations in life. All of us are struggling with one or another form of temptations, it is a big thing. If it was a small thing the devil would not have tried to tempt Jesus. Today I am continuing this study of temptations and share what I have learned.
Last week I discussed how Jesus suffered from temptations and trials and how he teaches us to keep our eyes open and to keep on watching and praying. This week it is all about others in the Bible who was tempted and struggled with the resistance.
To be tempted is typical of us as humans. We are NOT Jesus and we sometimes fail. I don’t want you to think I am saying it is OK to fail, but it is human. We strive to be strong, but even the strongest fails sometimes, maybe you feel you are strong on the typical temptations, but then I urge you to look even deeper at the more hidden temptations. I like to challenge myself always to look even deeper and deeper to find ANY heart’s desires that entraps me and make me a slave to be tempted, to hold on to things that is hindering me from God’s love. But let us look at the Bible characters who struggled with temptation.
The first character who comes to mind is David when he saw Bathsheba. His first temptation was desire of flesh and when he arranged to kill her husband, his second temptation was his mind – he planned it all. We can read the whole story in 2 Sam 11. We learn from this story David’s intentions which he tried to hide (same as Eve), but the LORD knew and later we learned that the prophet Nathan was sent to David with a message. Read Ps 51 – the piece which David wrote after Nathan confronted him. It is a beautiful psalm to pray if you don’t have words for your own temptations. Here is a little bit of it.
Ps51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me
Ps51:11 Cast me not away from your presence: Take not your holy spirit from me.
David knew his temptation that he gave into removed him from God’s presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is funny how he ask God not to cast him away from His presence, but David had God’s Spirit and David must have casted away the voice of the spirit when he gave into temptation, he ignored the voice. Do we ignore the voice of the spirit when we give into temptations? David loved God so much that he pleaded for this special relationship to be preserved. I think we must realize temptations bring in a wedge between us and God. Satan’s big plan – I want to ask you – go down on your knees and beg God to restore your relationship with Him through the blood of Jesus Christ – God’s big plan.
The next character who did not resist temptation was Samson as we read in Judges 16
Samson fell in love with Delilah. First Delilah was tempted with money to get Samson’s secret from him. Samson lied to her. Samson KNEW it could only be Delilah who betrayed him, but he stayed and lied to her again, the same happened.
Delilah manipulates him with “how can you say ‘I love you’ “and pressed him daily with words until he got sick of it. He told her his secret. I find it ironic that Delilah manipulated him with the words: “If you love me you will…..” He could have told her “If you love me you will…” if she really loved him, would she have handed him over- he was mightily abused by her manipulative behaviour. He was tempted by manipulation.
Jud16::20b But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
Jud16:28 O Lord, God please remember me.
Why would God depart from him? Because he trusted a woman above God, he wanted to please her and have a relationship with her and placed it above his relationship with God. Samson had to endure a lot of physical pain and humiliation. We know that God heard his last plea and restored his strength to do a final act against the Philistines where his own life was also ended.
In Joshua 7 we learn the story of Achan who gave in under the temptation of money. Joshua and the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho as we can read in Joshua 6. Joshua Commanded that the city and everything in it must be devoted to the Lord, except Rahab. All the silver, gold, articles of bronze and iron must go into God’s treasury. The wall collapsed and the Israelites destroyed the city.
Joshua 16:27 so the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
Joshua 7:1 Achan tool some of what was set apart,. So the LORD’s anger turned against the Israelites.
Next Joshua wanted to defeat Ai , but Israel was defeated.
Joshua 17:12b God: “I will no longer be with you unless you remove from among you whatever is devoted to destruction.
God helped Joshua to first pinpoint the tribe, then the clan, then the family, then the man.
Achan was selected. Achan confessed in verse 21 : I coveted them and took them:
It is amazing how the temptation of Achan impacted the whole nation. God told Joshua to deal heavily with Achan.
Realize your temptation have such an impact on everyone around you. Don’t think you can hide your temptation from God. HE knows. Also don’t think that certain temptations are innocent – it DOES have an impact on the people around you. You can hide the temptation, but you cannot hide the fruit it will have on those around you.
On another note. I know we are all mad at the funds that were stolen from our beautiful country’s coffers. I know that God will deal heavily when His time is right as He dealt with Achan.
In Acts 5:3 we read how Annanias and Sapphira lied about the money received for their property. Their temptation was dealt with severely. Here the sin was not the money as such, it was because try tried to hide the truth with a white lie.
In John 13:2 we read how Judas had already decided to betray Jesus for money. Money is such a short term investment – your relationship with God should prevail above the love of money.
We looked at David and Samson who gave into temptation, but God forgave them and restored them in they eyes of the world. Both had to pay a price, David’s son from Bathseba died and Samson lost his life in the end. We looked at Achan in the Old Testament and Annanias, Sapphira and Judas in the New Testament who was more concerned with riches than their relationship with God. Their ends were very tragic indeed.
You cannot hide your thoughts and intentions from God.
Any temptation, even if it is only in your heart removes you from God and the Holy Spirit
Some temptations comes in the form of manipulation where we need to be strong and put our relationship with God above that of the person who tries to manipulate.
Your temptations can be hidden from people around you, but they will impact those around you, you cannot hide the impact of it on your loved ones, colleagues, and friends.
White lies are a temptation.
May the LORD bless you and keep you.
May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.
You can contact me via e-mail; Wilmien.firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message (+27)836339525
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