God Is Able – To Make a Way Through Temptation!

“Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.” (Hebrews 2:18 NLT)

Temptation to sin, to disregard what we know is right, is something every believer holds in common. The temptation may be different in its form, but everyone is tempted by something, even Jesus. As we begin, I’d like to make some general observations, then zero in on how God often works to help us escape temptations deadly grip.

First, temptation is not sin, but it very often leads to sin if we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to guide us away from it. Secondly, God NEVER tempts us to sin. He does TEST us, but the purpose of His testing is to make us better, not make us fall or fail. Thirdly, our own lustful, wrong desires are the seedbed of temptation. Fourthly, Satan cannot make you sin.

James writes: “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (1:14-15) Desires always give us a choice.

Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

The word most commonly used in the New Testament that is translated “tempt or temptation” means: “to try whether a thing can be done. To attempt, endeavor. To test for the purpose of ascertaining a person’s quality, or what they think, or how they will behave in a certain setting.”

Satan is a liar; in the sense he is incapable of saying anything that is truthful. But he aligns his lies with what we want to believe, either about ourselves, someone else, or something that is not in our best interests. God is unable to lie. He must tell the truth in every circumstance in order to be true to His holy and perfect nature. That’s the reason He will never tempt you to sin. 

God is so committed to keeping us from sin that He ALWAYS gives us an out when we’re tempted. When Jesus was tempted, He defeated Satan’s efforts to feed Jesus’ own desires by quoting Scriptures that clearly evidenced the lies that Satan was seeking to use by twisting them to his own advantage.

That heightens our need to know, not only what the Bible says, but the truth it’s intending to convey through what it says. Satan will twist truth to make it say what it was never intended to say. He will appeal to our emotions, our desires, given by God, but will seek to have us fulfill those desires in ways that will not honor God.

For example, sex. Sex is God’s invention. He made it pleasurable for one man and one woman to enjoy in the context of a lifelong commitment to one another in marriage. Yet, mankind has distorted and defiled God’s perfect plan for intimacy within the safe boundaries of marriage, in ways that not only break the heart of God, but can damage and destroy our bodies, minds, and souls.

Hebrews 2:18 points to Jesus’ own temptation as a point of reference so we can be assured that Jesus understands what we’re going through, but more importantly, can help us overcome and/or escape its devilish claws. But how?

Since temptation draws on our own desires, God enables us, through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit within us, to change and sanctify our desires. What does that mean? It means we learn, over time, to desire God and what He wants for us, more than the sinful things we want for ourselves. The longer we walk with the Lord, the more clearly we are able to identify the “escapes” He provides for us.

We’ll look at this more closely tomorrow.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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