VICTORY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TEMPTATIONS
Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and in the world
there is an army of false prophets working under his influence (Matt.
24:11, 24; Eph. 6:12; 1 John 4:1). They "come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Matt. 7:15).
Satan's lies attack the truth from every angle; he actually had
the audacity to tempt Jesus with lies (he misquoted scripture to
Jesus), and every time Jesus proved Satan wrong by correctly quoting
scripture: "It is written..." (Matt. 4:4; Matt. 4:7; Matt.
4:10) If Satan can't get us to doubt our salvation, then he'll try
to get us to live like we're not saved. "What shall we say
then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly
not!" (Romans 6:1-2) Sin is always a cheap rip-off and can
never bring us the happiness that the fruits of the Spirit can bring
us. Sin grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and causes Him to "yearn
jealously" within us (James 4:5). Jesus refered to the Holy
Spirit as being a "fountain" of "living water"
within us "springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).
Satan would love to see the gusing foundatin turned into a trickle.
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing."
(John 6:63) The presence of the Holy Spirit living inside us is
not only the guarantee of our salvation but also the guarantee that
we can have victory in our fight against temptations. "He [the
Holy Spirit] who is in you is greater than he [Satan] who is in
the world." (1 John 4:4)
NAILED TO THE CROSS...
Recognize temptations for what they are! They are lies from Satan
designed to "steal, kill, and destroy." (John 10:10) The
book of Proverbs describes a classic example of one of his lies
- "For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth
is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps
lay hold of hell." (Proverbs 5:3-5)
As a "new creation" in Christ, recognize that your desire
to sin originates from your "old man" -- your flesh that
will one day be replaced with a new, perfect body. "Our old man
was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6:6) The
crucifiction of Jesus Christ made it possible for us to crucify the
desires of our flesh! Through His death and resurrection our sins
are forgiven and our "inner man" is raised from spiritual
death to eternal life. The very presence of God (through the Holy
Spirit) fills our inner man like blood fills our body. We will victoriously
fight temptations when we focus on Jesus Christ and follow Him
- through the power of the Holy Spirit bind and nail the arms and
legs of our sinful desires to the cross rather than let them
run loose and damage our lives and others! (Romans 6:1-4, Romans 8:13)