Friday, July 15, 2005

Standing Under Temptation

A sign of spiritual progress is the ability to resist temptations when they come. In fact, that you are continually being tempted more and more shows that you really are making spiritual progress.

Temptations will also keep you humble. There is no woman or man alive today that can say..."I am not tempted by anything." Paul spoke of a thorn in his flesh that kept him from thinking too highly of himself. He even pleaded three times that it be taken from him. The Lord refused and merely said, "my grace is sufficient for you." When things have been going well in regard to the temptation department, I might think I somehow have surpassed others in my spirituality. Thus, I need temptations to keep me humble.

So many, myself included at times, might think that temptation in itself is bad. "I don't want to tell people that I was tempted to look at pornography because they might think I actually did look at it or that I am weak somehow." No way! This is not true and I am weak. Just think...Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). His ministry began with being led into the desert to be tempted. Temptation is not bad...

...rather, temptation is a great opportunity to make progress in our relationship with God and in our spiritual life. Amen.