Have you ever considered how temptation mingles with folks in the Bible – and how it impacts us today? A flip through the pages of God’s Word assures us of a dance with danger several times. We’re wise to take notice.
In Exodus 4, Moses assures God his speech disqualifies him as a holy candidate for leadership. Saul, in 1 Samuel 13, runs with disobedience, causing dire consequences. And in Matthew 4, Jesus stands firm against the tempter, offering us hope for the battle.
The “Father of Lies” loves temptation. At the root, according to James 1:13-18 is an evil desire. Once enticed, desire is conceived, eventually giving birth to sin. And full-blown sin? It leads to death. Call temptation dangerous territory. Let’s take a look at 10 lies you and I might be tempted to believe.
1. I’m Not Good Enough
In Exodus 4 Moses assures God of his inadequacy due to slow, far-from-eloquent speech. Moses bought the lie he wasn’t good enough.
“I’m not good enough” plagues many of us. When I surveyed friends for this article, it stood tall as the #1 lie. And why not? Believing more in self than the grace of Jesus strips the cross of an amazing amount of power. No amount of work, of being “good enough”, compares to the free, beautiful gift of God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.” Eph. 2:8-9 WEB
2. My Spouse is the Enemy
Sometimes we wield the finger of blame like a pistol – cocking the hammer and aiming straight at the one we love most – our spouse. But the true fight isn’t against them.
Behind those marital feelings and fights sits a battle – spiritual forces at war. Why not acknowledge and fight it as such, leaving temptation floundering in the dust? Our spouse isn’t the enemy. The devil stands guilty.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
3. I Can’t Do It
Boots shake when fear rides into town. And “I can’t do it” often graces lips. The two go together like a cowboy and his hat. But should they?
Can you imagine if Queen Esther would have sprinted away in fear, leaving behind a whole crowd of similar faces to die? Although situations often cause us to shake, why not walk by faith? Why not leave “I can’t do it” alone?
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 WEB
4. Others Are More Valuable Than Me
Who determines value? Concerning crystal or antiques, quality and demand set worth. With people, some of us often place a higher value on “good” people, those in church leadership, professional athletes, the wealthy, or film stars. Value our Father places on people lands differently. Take a look at the verses below to battle temptation concerning worth.
“The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 WEB
“I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.” Psa 139:14 WEB
5. Don’t Pray – Just Do It
Inside us sometimes sits a desire to run solo, move forward. Society chants our praise to make things happen on our own. But what about God’s will?
When tempted to move forward versus seeking, waiting upon, or resting in the Lord, we find ourselves smack in the middle of dangerous territory – landing often outside God’s will. Why not snuggle in with prayer, a praise-filled wait, or a confident rest versus running ahead and alone?
“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 WEB
6. Do Whatever Makes You Feel Good
Feel like getting even? Go ahead, take revenge. How about tossing around gossipy chatter under the guise of prayer? Or, why not withhold forgiveness? After all, “they” don’t deserve it. But do any of us truly deserve forgiveness?
“Feeling good” finds its basis with feelings. Our foundation of faith sits with Jesus, love, and forgiveness. Feelings and faith often stand at odds. Instead of following feelings, why not remain in Him?
“Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 WEB
7. God Can’t Love Me Because I Did _______.
If salvation balanced on works, what we’ve done or haven’t done, we’d all be in a world of hurt. Our Father operates His world in a different manner, one based simply on the love of Christ. After all, sin sits in everyone’s story.
“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 WEB
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 WEB
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.: Romans 8:38-39 WEB
8. I Know I Shouldn’t Worry, But I Just Can’t Help It
Sometimes I worry. And sometimes I toss the word “worry” into conversations like it’s a natural occurrence, as though God ordained it. But did He?
Our God remains specific about not worrying. He remains the God of the universe, the very One who formed and fashioned each person traversing this earth. How powerless worry stands in comparison.
“In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 WEB
9. I Can’t Forgive Them
I just can’t forgive. Have you ever heard someone say those words? Call it temptation at work.
Sometimes forgiveness seems impossible to offer, doesn’t it? All things, however, are possible with God – even forgiving in seemingly impossible situations.
“And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 WEB
10. The Busier You Are, the Better Christian You Are
Call it good, but is it God? Involvement often lulls Christians into a busy complacency. Sounds a little odd, putting it that way, but it’s true. We often rush to join in, get involved, do this or do that simply because it seems good or makes us feel good. But often times those “seem goods” and God’s will don’t equate.
Being busy does not qualify us to the rank of better Christians. A heart for God? Now, that’s a different story.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 KJV
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