Page 5 - April 2023 - Truth & Tidings
P. 5

testing? Who is being targeted, and what   the Lord said, “Keep watching and pray-
        is the motive for the temptation/test? In   ing that you may not enter into tempta-
        our lives, under the difficult weight of   tion; the spirit is willing, but the flesh
        a circumstance, how can we discern the   is weak” (Mat 26:41  NASB). He knew
        difference between a test from God and a   temptation could not be countered just re-
        temptation to sin? In Abraham’s trial, we   actively. Their readiness and condition of
        notice that he is being guided by God’s   heart would be critical in the coming hour
        Word (Gen 22:3,11), is counting on God’s   of temptation. Sadly, their drowsiness and
        provision (v8), is trusting God’s promises   lack of prayer set them up for defeat. We
        (Heb 11:17-19), and emerges with God’s   are to keep watching and praying – that
        blessing (Gen 22:16-17). In Eve’s tempta-  is, never losing focus on the danger, and
        tion, we notice that she is guided by subtle   never losing communication with the
        lies (Gen 3:4-5), is dissatisfied with God’s   Deliverer.
        provision (2:16), trusts a satanic promise   What  about  the  moment  of  sudden
        over God’s (2:17; 3:5), and emerges with   temptation? Am I clear, like Joseph, on
        shame and a curse (3:7,16).           the necessary plan of action? “Therefore
          A trial from God – The goal is that we   let anyone who thinks that he stands
        trust divine promises, resist sin and glo-  take heed lest he fall. No temptation has
        rify God. The motive is blessing and the   overtaken you that is not common to man.
        result is joy and increased intimacy with   God is faithful, and he will not let you be
        God. A temptation – The goal is that we   tempted beyond your ability, but with the
        believe false promises, indulge in sin and   temptation he will also provide the way of
        dishonour God. The motive is destruction   escape, that you may be able to endure it.
        and the result is shame and increased dis-  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry”
        tance from God.  “So temptation is like a   (1Co 10:12-14). Paul here addresses both
        knife, that may either cut the meat or the   the over-confident believer and the defeat-
        throat of a man; it may be his food or his   ist. Both must seize upon the same avail-
        poison, his exercise or his destruction.” 4  able resource, God’s faithfulness. His last
        How Should We Respond to              statement reminds us that temptation is a
                                              heart issue; it is a challenge of my worship
        Temptation?                           and to whom it will be directed.
          There are two ways in which we can    Temptation will doggedly work away
        equip ourselves for the inevitable assault:   at displacing our affections. “Distaste for
        pre-emptively and responsively. One is to   sin is certainly a part of renouncing it. But
        set up defenses in anticipation, while the   that is not the whole picture. Your affec-
        other is to familiarize ourselves with the   tions for what is wrong need replacing.
        nearest exit for the moment of crisis.  You need to love something else more.”
          To His three disciples in Gethsemane,   Peter emerged from defeat, not with
        ³ It should be noted that, as in the case of Job,   renewed determination (Mat 26:33) but
        a Satanic incitement to sin can also be used   with renewed devotion for his Lord (Joh
        sovereignly by God to bring about blessing and   21:15-17). Take heart, dear believer – there
        draw a believer closer to Himself, proving to be   is hope for the tempted and tried!
        simultaneously a temptation and a trial.
        ⁴ John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation   ⁵ Tim Chaddick, The Truth About Lies (Colorado
        (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006), 152.   Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015), 39.

                                       I  April 2023  101
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10