Preparing for Temptation (19 June)

Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made. The snake asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?" "We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden," the woman answered, "except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it; if we do, we will die." The snake replied, "That's not true; you will not die. God said that because he knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad." Genesis 3:1-5
Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Satan did not wait long. Immediately after God created a good world, the tempter came to Eve speaking beautiful words. By lying to her, he tempted her and she fell as easy prey into his hands.

How often Satan comes to us trying to trap us as his prey! Did we yield to him, not stand against him firm in our faith? "Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings." (1 Peter 5:9)

We face great temptations in this world. Being tempted by Satan is not a sin. Sin only comes when we begin to weigh the matter in our thoughts, and perhaps even try it out. When we fall into sin, we have in fact turned our back on Jesus. We have behaved self-centeredly because we have decided that this is what is right and good for us at this moment. We have been dishonest and proud.

I need God's help to resist temptation. I need to read his word; it strengthens me and reminds me that God holds my right hand and will not forsake me. I need to sit down and honestly assess my weaknesses. Rather than a general prayer like "God, help me because I am weak," I need to call the problem by its real name: "Help me because I am weak where it concerns money, jealousy, pride…." Admitting our weaknesses and laying them before God prepares us for the battle with Satan.

I meet and talk with many friends, asking that they help me with prayer and encouragement. When we submit to the will of God rather than to the tempter, we glorify God's name like Jesus did when he said, "Not what I want, but what you want." (Matthew 26:39). God will strengthen us as he has promised: "Because the Lord is righteous and good, he teaches sinners the path they should follow. He leads the humble in the right way and teaches them his will. With faithfulness and love he leads all who keep his covenant and obey his commands. . . . I look to the Lord for help at all times, and he rescues me from danger." (Psalm 25:8-11, 15).

Our eyes should always be lifted up to the Lord as we trust him to keep us from falling into the net of the tempter.

- 19 JUNE -

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