The Temptation Equation

The Temptation Equation

Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.
–Genesis 4:7

After spending sixty-nine days trapped in a Chilean mine, Mario Sepulveda was a changed man. “I buried forty years of my life down there, and I’m going to live a lot longer to be a new person,” he said. “I was with God, and I was with the devil. They fought, and God won.”

Whether you realize it or not, you are caught in the crossfire of an eternal battle between God and Satan. If you are a Christian, Satan is doing everything he can to deprive you of every good thing God has in store for you. Last week we looked at the first two strategies in his blueprint for your destruction. One, Satan would love to discourage you from worshiping God. He would love to send so many problems into your life that you turn your back on Him. Two, if Satan cannot get you to reject God outright, he would like to distract you from serving God. He wants you to be so focused on the details and delights of life that it strangles out your service for God.

Today we are going to look at the third and the most powerful strategy Satan has for our destruction, and that is to deceive you into disobeying God. Discouragement and distraction are lethal, but they are somewhat subtle. Outright disobedience is what Satan would ultimately like to produce in your life. Why? Not only because of the destruction that disobedience brings in your life, but the resulting fallout in other people’s lives. Can you think of a Christian you once respected who suddenly, without warning, fell into sin? Maybe they abandoned their mate in order to have a relationship with somebody else. Maybe they allowed the allure of money to cause them to commit some financial misdeed. Maybe they became enslaved to pornography or some other kind of addiction. Do you remember the disillusionment you felt?

But the truth is, nobody suddenly falls into sin. Think about a glacier–it remains in place for thousands of years, and then it suddenly becomes an avalanche, destroying everything in its path. It turns out this change is not so sudden. What actually happens is, over a period of years and years, there is a subtle rise in temperature and a shifting of weight in the glacier, until some external circumstance causes it to become a catastrophic avalanche. It is the same thing in our spiritual lives. We do not suddenly fall into sin. Instead our spiritual temperature slowly grows colder and colder and there is a shifting in our priorities, until one day an external force pushes us over the edge into sin. You see, not only is falling into sin a matter of what happens to us on the inside, it is also the result of what happens to us on the outside. We have an adversary who is actively trying to deceive us into disobedience.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Blueprint For Your Destruction” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

Mariano Castillo, “Rescued Miner Says He Saw God, Devil During Captivity,” CNN, October 13, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/10/13/chile.miners.voices/index.html.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.