Everyone has faced temptation at one point or the other and this will continue to happen. The devil does not come to us with his ugly face and horns; he comes disguised as everything we inordinately crave. He is very cunning. He comes in a very subtle way and before you know what has happened, the damage has been done. Many have been wounded in this journey of life because they never realized that behind those glitters lies fiery darts that will leave putrefying sores in their wake. There are moments when we are vulnerable and the devil capitalizes on such moment to perpetrate his evil.
The Lord admonishes severally in scriptures to flee from every appearances of evil; what this means is that it is easier to avoid temptation than to resist it. Maybe you must have heard some people say. “I never knew how it happened. It happened so swiftly that the deed has been done before I realized it”. But the truth is that people do not just fall into temptation. There is always a gestation period howbeit, the duration differs from person to person. Regardless, it’s important we are always on guard because the devil who is our common enemy moves around like a roaring lion seeking for whom to crush. The devil has been a master in this game of temptation. He knows all the tricks in the books.
I have also realized that there is no new temptation under the sun, they are only being re-invented. That is why it is important for us as believers to be ahead of the enemy and beat him in his own game but then, we cannot do this by own power. We need God’s grace to navigate the murky terrains of this world.
Our heart must be scripture saturated such that it leaves no breeding ground for the devil. We must be alert and sensitive in the spirit and pray without season like the scriptures commanded. Never think you are infallible. You must always be on your guard. This reminds me of a story of an eagle who, on an early morning during the spring thaw, soared high above the forest looking for something to eat. As he followed the course of a river he looked down and spied a small rodent, trapped on a piece of ice that had broken free and was floating down stream.
Seeing an easy meal, he swooped down, landed on the ice, killed the mouse and began to eat. As he continued his meal, he saw that his perch was rapidly approaching a water fall, but determined to finish eating and thinking he would rise into the air and to safety at the last moment, continued his course.
As the ice neared the falls, the eagle finished his last bite. Satisfied with his breakfast he spread his mighty wings and attempted to rise skyward as the chunk of ice tipped over the edge. While enjoying his meal however, he had failed to notice that the warmth of his feet had caused his claws to become embedded in the ice. Try as he might, he could not dislodge them and free himself from what had now become the burden that would carry him to his death on the rocks far below.
Don’t deceive yourself! Don’t be overconfident; thinking it can never happen to you; that is a recipe for disaster! Given the right circumstances, any of us are capable of messing up.
C. S. Lewis made these insightful observations about temptation: “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good.” Be careful! Be watchful! Temptation does not recognize the anointing. Don’t play with fire! A man cannot put fire under the bed he sleeps on. Many ‘super-hero’ in faith has fallen. If anyone had told them they will be victims, they will never believe. May we not fall into temptation. I love this evergreen song by Al Green:
Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin
Each Victory will help you or some others to win
Fight Manfully onward, dark passions subdue
Look ever to Jesus and He’ll carry you through
I pray the Lord keep and preserve you and if you if have fallen for the tricks of the devil and pierced your soul in the process. There is still an opportunity to make it right. Don’t delay!
From Gbenga Owotoki who lives in Florida, USA.