Father of Lies Part 7: Victory Over Temptation

by | May 13, 2024 | Temptation | 22 comments

What comes to mind when I say “Temptation”? When I asked a group this question, one woman squealed, “Fun!” The rest of us laughed as images of favorite treats danced through our minds. The devil works overtime to make us view temptation as nothing more than a harmless indulgence. But James shows the deadly side of temptation (James 1:13-15).

Using the acronym DARTS, we’re contrasting ideas that come from our enemy, the devil, with the character of Christ. Here’s an outline of where we’ve been and where we’re going.

The Devil’s DARTS Are:

(with links to previous posts)

DDestructive

AAccusing

RRule-oriented

T-Tempting

S-Slanderous

But Jesus Is Our:

Deliverer

Advocate

Righteousness

Tower of Strength

Shield

The T in DARTS stands for Tempting. But Jesus is our Tower of strength.

Bright fishing lures masquerade as appealing fish food. Satan hides his hooks in eye-catching lures that attract the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). Sometimes, he dangles illegitimate ways to meet legitimate needs like when he tempted Jesus at the end of a 40-day fast with a fast-food idea (Matthew 4:3-11).

“And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’”

What was wrong with Jesus satisfying real hunger by turning stones into bread? For one thing, Jesus did only what the Father told Him, showing us our need to abide in Christ (John 5:19; 15:4-5). And He knew Satan came only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).

Everyday, we face Eve’s age-old temptation to be self-sufficient and rule our own lives. Even in seeking to do God’s work, most of us wrestle for control. We struggle to trust God’s timing and ways. When God doesn’t follow our plan, we want to help Him by grabbing the reins. Is that so bad? Remember James’ words.

“When sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (James 1:15 NASB 1995).

Death can mean separation. In physical death, the soul leaves the body. Spiritual death is being separated from God. Sin creates distance or breaks fellowship with the One who is our life (1 John 1:5-7). It gives the devil a foothold (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus refused the devil’s shortcuts and trusted His Father even through the suffering of the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2).

The Truth about Sin and Temptation 

Ken, a close friend who is now with the Lord, was Larry’s house mate and trainer when he joined the staff of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). Our daughters were born the same week. Ken had a winsome smile, was a talented worship leader, and gifted Bible teacher. He was also a polio survivor.

Polio took the life of his sister when she was a baby. Polio left Ken’s body twisted and dwarfed. His brothers were large men while Ken bought his shirts in the boy’s department. I never heard Ken complain, but polio’s crippling effects haunted him his whole life and played a role in his early death.

If we could ask Ken’s father, “Mr. Green, what do you think of polio?” how would he answer?

I’m sure he would say, “I hate polio! It took the life of my only daughter and crippled my son.”

But if we asked, “Mr. Green, what do you think of Ken?” I’m sure he’d smile and say, “I love Ken. He’s my son!”

The devil tempts us to sin for the very reason our heavenly Father hates sin. They both know sin cripples and kills. Jesus suffered an excruciating death to save us from sin’s grip. To play with temptation is to forget its lethal intent and the One who suffered to free us from its deadly fangs.

The devil tempts us to sin for the very reason our heavenly Father hates sin. They both know sin cripples and kills. #temptation, #hope Share on X

Jesus—Our Tower of Strength Against Temptation 

When the lure of temptation is more than we can handle, we have a refuge. Jesus is our Tower of strength.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV).

Jesus, our High Priest, stands ready to help us in our time of need.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB 1995)

1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that God always provides a way of escape from temptation. Jesus supplies the courage to wait for His peace and not rush into a decision, to please Him even if it means disappointing people, to be still and know God’s will. We never miss out on real good by trusting God and submitting to His timing and ways (James 4:6-7).

Strength Finder:  

Consider the following when facing temptation.

  • Am I motivated by fear, anger, greed, passion, turmoil, or dissatisfaction—or by trust in God?
    .
  • Preview where your options lead. Which one reflects trust in God which ultimately leads to peace with God? Disobeying God always leads to regret. No matter what Satan’s shiny lures promise, his purpose is destruction.
  • Do I like where this tempting thought takes me? Thoughts have no power unless we believe and obey them.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NLT)

The series begins here.

Click here to comment.

Blessings,

Resources

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouragements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Michele Morin

    So much practical wisdom here, Debbie. We need to run to that strong tower for our rescue!

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I’m so thankful for our strong tower, Michele!

      Reply
  2. Linda Stoll

    Amen, He is our tower of strength! The enemy fades from view as we focus on all who God is and celebrate each victory He gives us every day.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Linda, I like how you added celebrate each victory. Yes! A great way to celebrate our Lord.

      Reply
  3. Annie Yorty

    Debbie, I needed this message today. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog

    I love this line: “Am I motivated by fear, anger, greed, passion, turmoil, or dissatisfaction—or by trust in God?” What a good question. It really cuts to the heart.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ashely, I can easily be motivated by the wrong emotions if I’m not careful.

      Reply
  5. Ann Musico

    Wonderfully explained. I have long used John 10:10 as my measure of the source if any temptation or choice.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ann, I like that. It really is a powerful tool in giving perspective and strength to make wise choices.

      Reply
  6. Barbara Latta

    So much of the world views temptation as something to be pursued instead of resisted. Much like the example you shared about the woman who said, “fun.” Sin is not seen as something harmful, but desirable. Consequences are not thought about. Thanks for sharing the light on this subject that many want to avoid. It is necessary to make these warnings as we can see how society spins out of control for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Barbara, the entertainment industry has done a good job of creating fairy tales that we can live a life of rebellion against God without any consequences.

      Reply
  7. Jerralea Winn Miller

    This is a great series!

    Your words, “Jesus supplies the courage to wait for His peace and not rush into a decision, to please Him even if it means disappointing people, to be still and know God’s will,” are so convicting, for I have rushed before because I wanted to please people! Ouch!

    In this season of my life, I’m working to be still and know God’s will.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Jerralea, I’ve felt that pressure too. Finding the freedom to say I need to talk to my Father and wait for His peace takes practice for some of us.

      Reply
  8. Joanne Viola

    Debbie, you have presented powerful questions to ask ourselves in the strength finder bullets. But this one was the one needed today > “Am I motivated by fear, anger, greed, passion, turmoil, or dissatisfaction—or by trust in God?” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom!

    Reply
  9. Candyce Carden

    . Your analogy about Ken which contrasts Satan’s view of sin with God’s view hits home with me. Your post also caused me to reflect on personal sin. My sin is probably most motivated by fear (insecurity) or anger. I plan to monitor this observation when I’m tempted to sin.

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      Candace, those two trip me up too. Hopefully, as we recognize the trap they present, we’ll be alert to the danger and cast our cares on Him and put off anger. Thankful our High Priest stands ready to help us in our time of need!

      Reply
  10. Yvonne Morgan

    Great series Debbie. So much wisdom about how our enemy works to deceive people, even believing folks. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Yvonne. Knowing his schemes arms us against his attacks.

      Reply
  11. J.D. Wininger

    Great explanation and unfolding of how Satan works through temptations Ms. Debbie. Great post, ma’am.

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, J.D.

      Reply

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