1 Aug 2013 by Natasha Kim CM-
People who are wrongly rooted have trouble overcoming temptations. Massimo Gei strongly believes that being wrongly rooted makes you susceptible to the difficulties in life. He was one of the breakout session speakers at the Connexion Conference held at First Baptist Church (FBC).
And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. (Mark 4:17)
Temptation is defined in the dictionary as “the urge a person has to do or want something that is wrong or forbidden. In the world we live in God may test His children, a process designed to purify and strengthen them, but He does not lead them into sin. Without exception, sin results when temptation strikes a sympathetic chord in the human heart, and man has no one to blame but himself.
Temptation Ruins Lives of Many
According to 2 Samuel 11, the Bible tells a story of David and Bathsheba, one of adultery and murder. The beginning of the scripture cited that David was a King who refused to obey God’s commands when he was asked to join his army in battle. During that time, he stayed back in Jerusalem and experienced temptation. One evening, while he was looking out from the palace roof he caught a glimpse of a lady bathing. This woman got his attention and he found her very beautiful. So, he acted on his temptation and sent someone to find out more about her.
“David could have ended the temptation by leaving the scene at that time, even after entertaining the temptation for a while. Instead, David put himself into a more tempting situation. David committed adultery in his heart up on the roof,” shared Massimo.
His messenger found out that this lady was the wife of Uriah, a mighty soldier whom he sent off to battle. Despite knowing this, he acted rashly by inviting her over to his place and slept with her.
“David knew this was wrong, yet he did it. It's hard to explain what David was thinking here, because he wasn't thinking. He acted on feeling and impulse instead of thinking,” shared Massimo.
If David thought about all this, he would have figured out that the cost was so much greater than what he would’ve considered at the time. If David knew that this illicit pursuit of pleasure would directly or indirectly result in an unwanted pregnancy, the murder of a trusted friend, a dead baby, his daughter raped by his son, one son murdered by another son, a civil war led by one of his sons, and lastly a son who imitated David's lack of self-control, which led him and much of Israel away from God, he would not have acted on temptation. Some lessons in life are harsh indeed. This is where the flesh tempts the Christian mainly in the area of the body.
“Before a person becomes a Christian, there are old habits which are primarily selfish which cause great temptations for the new Christian. The 'old way of life' almost 'shouts' to be satisfied. The new Christian must learn to deal with these temptations – they must be dealt with firmly!” shared Massimo.
In the whole of the Old Testament literature there is no chapter more tragic or full of solemn and searching warning than this (G. Campbell Morgan)
Be aware and Do not pursue Temptation
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
From the book of Genesis through Revelation, Satan is seen at work deceiving people into sinning. The new Christians must keep in mind that Satan is a 'master' of telling lies and tricking the Christian into believing his lies. Some of the Bible verses that speak of temptation:-
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.(Ephesians 2:1-3)
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2).
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
All across scripture, the Bible warns people to beware of where temptations may lead you so that you can have a strong and of pure heart, living the way God intended and according to His design.
“Since a Christian must live in the world, he is unable to escape the pressures and influence of the world. The source of temptation is often presented in a form which deceives most Christians; achievements, possessions, living standards, position, etc., obtained by his own schemes apart from the direction and power of God. Yielding to this temptation is when the Christian conforms to society around him rather than the Christian influencing society. This source of temptation is presented in a very subtle manner; ‘Really, you must look after #1. If you don't, who will?’ The Christian must make Christ 'number ONE' in his life rather than self,” shared Massimo.
How to Defeat Temptation?
1. Be Alert
In many cases a Christian is defeated because he was not alert to the possibility of temptation.
It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer that victory is possible. Each Christian must obey the command of the Scriptures in Ephesians 5:18.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
2. Temptation must be dealt with when it arises.
Any delay gives invitation to sin to enter the life.
3. Know Biblical Escapes
1 Corinthians 10:13 states that with every temptation, God promises the way of escape, the means of escape by which we can gain victory over temptation.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
4. Obey by Faith
When dealing with temptations, it is important to take the biblical escape route whether you feel like it or not. If you rely upon feelings to motivate to you to deal with temptations, you have already lost the battle.
5. Pray for Victory
The Bible clearly commands prayer for both personal victory and for victory in the lives of fellow Christians.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
Lastly, Massimo added that, “When we are rooted in the world, Satan and the flesh, we will easily give into all temptations. We are to be rooted in HIM for the strength to overcome temptations.”