When temptation comes, it usually doesn’t come alone.
It comes with an entourage of lies, recruited to accomplish two things: First, to exalt temptation; and second, to belittle you.
Here are three of these lies:
- This temptation won’t go away unless you give in.
- It’s too much for you to resist.
- It’s here to help. It wants to remove your pain.
If you find yourself giving in to a certain area of temptation repeatedly, chances are these lies are at work.
They’re an entourage of little worshipers, lifting temptation up like it’s God himself: eternal, omnipotent, and benevolent.
But temptation is nothing of the sort. And its lies can be broken.
Temptations do go away. The only way the intensity and frequency of a temptation will continue is if you continue to feed it when it comes around.
Much of temptation’s power actually comes from its entourage of allies (lies) looking to destroy you. Go get some allies of your own—brothers and sisters ready to fight with and for you. Just watch the difference it makes.
Temptation is not here to help or to heal. It’s looking to be your drug dealer. In fact, far from wanting to remove your pain, it helps your pain to continue so you’ll keep coming back for more of its “medicine.” And each time you give in, its grip on you will only become stronger.
Does temptation hold out something alluring? Yes. But exposing its lies reveals how malicious its intent truly is. Temptation is no friend.
Jesus comes in stark contrast to temptation.
He comes with no puffed up entourage, but humbly, as a servant with a basin to cleanse your filthy feet. Though he does not force himself on you, he promises never to leave nor forsake you. Though stronger than you, he does not control or overpower you, but comes to set you free from all that holds you captive. Though he may not immediately relieve your pain, he willingly bears it with you on the hard road toward real healing.
He has been tempted, too. He has felt its allure. And He has defeated it.
Question: Which of temptation’s lies has been hardest for you to deal with? And what’s one truth from Scripture that challenges that lie? Share a comment below.
Tempted too ,
When I notice that I am attracted to another man God has shown me that I continue to listen to the enemy’s voice and believe the lie that what the other man has is not just different, but more and better and that leads to envy, jealousy, greed, covetedness and finally lust, the desire to possess and consume. God’s Word to me has been…(1) he’s only human, (2) have no other gods before me, and (3) get behind me Satan, worship God and serve Him only.
Which of temptation’s lies has been hardest for me to deal with? Well, for starters, there is a certain lie that my biological father told me over and over again when I was growing up. To be fair, his own father also lied to him, and cheated him of the love and security which he should have received in his boyhood. Now when I came along, my father did not consciously set out to create that same pattern in his relationship to me, his son. But over and over again, he would tell me with a snarling tone in his voice, “You’re on your own,” meaning: “You’re not worth my time and effort. You’re just too sensitive, too weak and defective to qualify as my son, so I’m giving up on you–besides, you’re just like your mother anyway.” Many of us are all too familiar with this kind of rejection, and we can see that there are actually several lies embedded in this paraphrase of my father’s words to me. But I think the one lie there that most deeply wounded my soul as a young child was this: “You’re on your own–you’re not good enough to be my son.”
O.K., now what is a good Scripture to counteract that? Well, how about Romans 8:15–“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry “Abba, Father.” No doubt we could think of some other good Scriptures to counteract this kind of falsehood. How about Psalm 27:10, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me and hold me close.” I am grateful now to be in a very good place in the family of a local church, but in the coming days I also look forward to walking with God to an even better place in my earthly pilgrimage. Yes, as C.S. Lewis aptly said, we still might have to pick ourselves up after a few falls, and we might get rather filthy and bruised and tattered before we arrive at the front door of our Father’s house–well, that’s all right, because the bathrooms in His house are spotlessly clean, there’s plenty of soap and hot water, the towels are folded, the beds are made with fresh linens, there’s a roaring fire in the fireplace to warm us up after we’ve come in from the cold, and our new clothes are freshly pressed and waiting for us in the closet. Amen!