Jun 20, 2012, 2:30 PM
In our world there is temptation all around us - left, right and centre. It has become its trademark. Indeed, everywhere you look some aspect of sin is constantly beckoning to your eyes, your taste buds, your sense of touch and smell – not mildly but aggressively.
Like a magnet, it pulls you so hard you could lose your balance. Until you literally turn your senses away you will end up falling in the devil’s trap. For a while what Satan is offering might seem soothing to the senses but that’s where the danger lies – that’s the bait. Satan would make you think a little sin here and there is not offensive to God. A white lie! Sin has cost God the death of his Son; therefore it is a serious matter. God hates sin even though he loves the sinner.
Our great, great ancestor Eve was the devil’s first victim. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6) That was a wrong move, because then they both stepped on God’s toes. Capital offence! God had warned them; “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16) God’s instruction was plain, ‘Do not eat the fruit of that tree.’ There were a thousand other trees they could have eaten from but Satan succeeded in making Eve believe that God was selfish when he told her; “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4) and pursued “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)Then the woman took a bite of the fruit and handed it to her husband. In this way sin was consumed and it gained entry into our world. It has since marred the life of humans. It did not have to be that way.
Temptation (to sin) is nothing but an invitation to disobey the laws God has put in place for our well-being. Every system has laws to operate by, so does God. In the Ten Commandments given to Moses, God stipulated the ‘dos and don’ts’ for his creation. (Exodus 20:1-17)
Satan is not idle, he is working round the clock for that matter “like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8b) The good news is that as long as you do not give in, until you succumb, sin has not triumphed over you. When we continue to resist the temptations of the evil one, the devil, he ends up fleeing away in defeat, his tail between his legs. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) “Resist him, standing firm in the faith...” (1 Peter 5:9)
Unfortunately, like Eve most of us do not smell danger and we are lured into sin in a twinkle of an eye in our desire to bask in its temporary bliss. The more we take pleasure in it, the deeper we sink. We become entrapped, thus identifying with it. Sin is a sugar-coated poisonous pill, not a palatable dish. It comes with a string of unpleasant consequences – like it was for David when he committed adultery.
Sin is a killer disease that camouflages as a burning desire and for the most part as a natural urge that ends up putting us at variance with our conscience. Like Joseph we should flee for our lives. “Do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27)
Mark you, Satan will spare no one. Could you believe the tempter tempted Jesus in a bid to compromise his ministry even before he set out? “The devil led him into a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’” (Luke 4:7) The acquisition of material possessions was not considered a part of Jesus’ mission. He left his heavenly riches to take up his assignment on earth. Nothing earthly could have distracted him.
Jesus’ weapon with which he resisted the devil’s lies in his knowledge of the Word of God. His response to Satan was; “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only! ” (Matthew 10:15) The Bible records; “Then the devil left him ...” Well even before the cross, just as he was about to start his ministry, Jesus had already defeated Satan and had sent him packing with the living word.
The Word of God on our lips can have the same effect if we believe in its power to deliver us from evil. Satan is a deceiver. Our Lord Jesus describes him as “a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.
When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the Father of lies.” (John 8:44)