“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Lowell Lundstrom, the very hard working Bible teacher and evangelist, and his son L.J. had a rare opportunity to get away and experience the great outdoors. On their way to Lake Winnipeg River in Canada the two outdoorsmen stopped at a local tackle shop to check out the fishing reports.
L.J. spotted a large minnow-shaped, shallow running lure that was decked out in all kinds of colors. Lowell thought about the old saying, “More lures are made to catch fishermen than ever catch fish”. Lowell could see the anticipation in his son’s eyes. The persistence of a young boy believing he could really catch something on this lure and the curiosity of an old fisherman provoked a sale.
After several days of very difficult fishing and a small stringer of fish to show for all their hard work, Lowell snapped on his son’s new lure just to show the boy some encouragement. The evening sun was setting on his last cast of the trip when a 23-pound musky grabbed the lure. The unique qualities of this bait were more than the big fish could resist.
The two elated fishermen boated the monster and took it to the dock with their newfound love of a very tempting lure. That lure soon became one of their favorite baits.
We can all remember times when we have been tempted. Biblically speaking, to be tempted means to be “lured or enticed”. The word temptation (peirasmos) had great meaning to the first century disciples. It meant “to catch in a snare or trap” or “to lure a fish from his hiding place”.
Temptation comes in many forms. We can be tempted in the flesh with the illusions of sensual pleasure. Lust of the flesh can include dietary or sexual fantasies. Another powerful force is the temptation of the mind. We can be tempted in thoughts of power, fame, fortune, and/or position.
Finally, we can be tempted in the spirit. Satan can attack our very soul as he wages war on our spiritual nature. If we allow evil thoughts to make camp in our minds and hearts they can cut into our soul like a hot knife on butter.
The author of Hebrews warns us in this area, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet as without sin”. Hebrews 4:15
Christ reminds us that we have to wage the battle against temptation and to be on the alert for the evil one. At the conclusion of His earthly ministry, Christ admonished His disciples “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak”. Matthew 26:41
An active prayer life, having accountability to other believers, and keeping ourselves open to God’s word are keys in dealing with temptation. Let us commit to praying for one another that God will give us the strength, power, and might to overcome the temptations before us.
Read Genesis 3:1-7. What was it about the serpent that distracted Adam and Eve? Why did they succumb to the temptation?
What lure (temptation) is most distracting to you?
How are you overcoming the evil one?
~James E. Grassi