Flee From Temptation

By Evang. Dr. P.M. Wynn-Grove

As the saying goes … “It was only a little white lie.” Paul’s warning to “take heed lest (you) fall” (1 Cor. 10:12) is as necessary today as it ever was. For all of us, like all who have gone before us, are fallen, temptable, and subject to thinking and doing what is wrong.

Opportunities for temptation are almost endless. And since human nature is not getting any better, nor are any of us immune to the corrupted appetites of the flesh, we need to take Paul’s warning seriously and watch out for temptation, or we will surely fall. Scripture offers several alternatives for dealing with temptation as we find it:

We should avoid temptation whenever possible. Proverbs 4:14-15 urges us, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it.” So often know beforehand whether a certain set of circumstances is likely to lead to sin. Therefore, the obvious way to avoid sin is to avoid those circumstances. Paul described a “way of escape” from temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).

The real escape to stay away from the place or the people where temptation is just waiting for you. If you know a person isn’t living a Christian life, yet you want to hang out with them, you are toying and flirting with temptation, and where there is smoke there is fire. As believers, we can help others in this regard. We can avoid setting up situations that encourage people to do wrong.

For example; don’t put a thief in the presence of valuables to hard to resist first chance they get. A liar; why loan them some money if you know for a fact they are lying to you and won’t pay it back. If your weakness once was alcoholic don’t go to a bar where temptation will be calling your name. We must flee from powerful temptations.

Earlier in this letter, Paul warned the Corinthians to flee sexual immorality (1Cor. 6:18). Here he warned them to flee idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14). Paul also warned Timothy to flee the lust for material possessions and wealth (1 Tim. 6:9-11), as well as youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22). The message is clear: “don’t mess around with temptation. Flee from it!

If you have chronic temptation, you need to confess that to Christ, and ask for His cleansing work, some temptations are powerful inner struggles, with thoughts and attitudes that graphically remind us of how fallen we really are. What should we do? Rather than deny it or try to repress it, we should bring it to Christ. He alone is capable of cleaning up the insides of our minds.

Let us not forget, Jesus was tempted in three very different ways:

  1. (1) in a barren desert (Luke 4:1-4). Deserts were believed to be inhabited by spirits that engaged in never-ending warfare.
  2. (2) On a mountain (Luke 4:5-8) On a mountain where the setting is that of quietness, and peacefulness an unlikely place for temptation, we must remember in the ancient world, many religious shrines were carved or carried into mountains, where they became sources of idolatry and superstition – this can tempt people to run away from their problems.
  3. (3) In Jerusalem, a city (Luke 4:9-13. Like us, Jesus was tempted to take command of a city, any city – especially “the holy city”, which could have sorely tempted a person with power. Power itself is morally neutral, but like fire it has big potential to destroy people when mishandled.

Jesus does understand real life. He faced temptations – the same temptations that show up every day in the “real” world. Because He was able to resist them, He is able to help us do the same (Heb. 2:18).

Finally, we must resist temptation until it leaves us. When Christ was tempted by the devil, He resisted until the devil went away (Matt. 4:1-11) James encouraged us to do the same (James4:7) Resistance begins by bathing our minds with the Word of God and standing our ground. We have the promise, after all, that the temptations we experience will never go beyond the common experiences of others, or beyond our ability to deal with them (1 Cor. 10:13).

Now ask yourself the question what kind of temptation; opportunities – all for the flesh – proud ego is out there tempting you?

Dr. P.M. Wynn Grove can be contact by email Tune in Sunday to channel 53 at 4:00pm for her weekly tv show, Heavenly Sent.

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