Topic: 1 Corinthians 10:1 - 13
As believers, we sometimes hear wrong information about temptation. For instance, many people believe that feeling tempted is sinful. But Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert. (Matthew 4:1) If the Lord remained righteous after being encouraged to do wrong, then temptation itself cannot be a sin. We must guard against false ideas that could disrupt our ability to stand strong.
The truth about temptation is that it's an enticement to take our God - given desires beyond God - given limits. We all feel the pull of our natural, sinful selves to do and think things that are immoral. In this lifetime, we will never be so mature or spiritually minded that we can relax our vigilance. Satan will always try to capitalize on our weakness and selfish desires.
Temptation is based on fantasy - the capacity to enjoy something we want to possess or do, without actually taking any action. However, the lack of action is deceptive. We tell ourselves it's okay just to think as long as we don't act. But if we allow ourselves to dwell on a tempting thought, that idea connects to emotions and produces desire. Desire grows until a choice must be made about whether to act. Temptation starts small - with a "one won't hurt" attitude: One drink. One lie. One kiss. The problem is that once we give in, sin gets bigger and more demanding until one turns into a lifestyle.
Thankfully, our Source of help is greater than both Satan and our fleshly desires. The key to victory over temptation is to protect our relationship with God.