Monday, March 28, 2011



Temptation: the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire.
If we all carried around the consequential wreckage from giving in to past temptation, the biggest pile would have a flag with my name on it, in bold print. In the past, I intellectualized my theology into easily manipulated puzzle pieces. But by bending God’s commandments to suit my desires, life’s consequences began to pile up.

To know Christ and to love Him beyond all else in life.
Is temptation an opportunity to grow in intimacy with Christ or an occasion for weakness to overcome? I faced this question twenty years ago while I was going through one of the fiercest trials I had ever encountered as a young adult. In retrospect, it was not the object of temptation I struggled with, but the weakness of my relationship with Christ. I doubted God and who He said He promised to be in my life. I failed to believe God could fulfill the desires I had in my heart, instead I thought giving into my desire would fulfill me. My hope and desire was for something other than God.

There are many forms of temptation.
Temptation can come in the form of attainment but in essence it is an attack of our hearts. Life circumstances can tempt us to disbelieve the characteristics of God. Sorrow can mislead us to doubt the eternal goodness of God. Anger can mislead us to doubt the endless mercies of God. Pain can undo our reliance on God’s tender faithfulness. When the integrity of our faith is shaken, the opportunity for temptation rises, as the trial continues it can produce a vicious cycle…until we stop and allow God to break the cycle.
If I examine what is tempting me, the object of temptation will reveal what aspect of God we are doubting. Inappropriate intimacy with someone reveals my doubt of God’s appreciation for the beauty He put in me. Unreasonable materialism reveals our doubt of His provision and life sacrificing love.
God is who He says He is. The Great I Am provides a way of escape by displaying an abundance of who He is in the middle of our struggles. I have discovered that the way of escape from temptation is finding our identity in God. But it is up to us to receive that gift. “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54: 10. He is the source of unfailing love, promise keeper of His covenant of peace, and the Compassionate One. Let us pursue Him in the face of our temptation so that we may endure in peace, and ultimately praise, worship and be fulfilled by God.

1. Praise and worship God. Examine the temptation and pray for God to reveal what aspect of His character is in doubt. Then praise and worship Him for that very character that He provides for you to endure this temptation.
2. Think through relationships that can offer accountability and prayer.
3. Memorize applicable scripture or at least carry the written verse. “But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” Deut. 30:14

Michelle Kiriakos is the mother of a third grader and is the Bible teacher at Little Bridges Child Care Center. She has been attending CCPC for three years and values the Women’s Ministry.

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