Stay Away From Temptation

September 24, 2013

Stay Away From Temptation

            Some believers boast about how close they can get to temptation without being affected by it.  They like to think they are supermen/women when it comes to resisting temptation.  They think they have reached such a level of spiritual maturity that they are immune from temptation.  They think they can read trashy magazines and sexy novels without being tempted.  They think they can watch anything and everything on television with no danger of falling into temptation.  They feel at liberty to take part in social drinking without fear of becoming an alcoholic.  They like to think that their way of thinking isn’t affected when they hang around with worldly friends.  They assure us that they would never be unfaithful to their wives, but they enjoy reading or hearing of men who do and get away with it.

The Bible doesn’t endorse that way of thinking. To the contrary, II Timothy 2:22 tells us to stay away from temptation.  “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” II Peter 1:4 also says “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Likewise  Psalm1:1-2 says. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.   But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

A high level of spiritual maturity doesn’t manifest itself by how close we can get to temptation without falling into it.  To the contrary, it manifests itself by having repugnance for evil.  Living close to God purifies our hearts and deadens the desire for evil.  James 4:5-8 says, “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

We can’t maintain a pure testimony without staying away from temptation.  If you don’t want to be accused of being a bank robber, you hadn’t better hang around with those who do.  I Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” That’s why we are told in Proverbs 4:23. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  A desire to get close to temptation indicates that we have an attraction for it.  We should rather have   repugnance for it.

The better part of wisdom is for us to say to ourselves, “I may not have as much power to resist temptation as I think I do.  For that reason, I’m going to stay away from it.  Even if we try to steer clear of temptation, we will still meet up with it.  When we do, we need to claim the promise of I Corinthians 10:13.  “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

 

 

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