Do you know that you are precious in God’s sight? Yes, we are His most valuable possession and our relationship with Him is His richest treasure. Satan, on the other hand, hates God and therefore hates everything God loves, thus making us the target of his animosity toward God. He is bent on destroying our lives and breaking the relationship we have with our Maker.
Satan devises schemes and plans against us, and one of the most common strategies he uses to destroy us is by bringing sin into our lives. When we give into a temptation that Satan brings our way and fall into sin, we choose to walk away from God.
God doesn’t and will never abandon us, but it’s us who become uncomfortable in His Holy presence. So we tend to shy away from spending time in His presence, praying, reading the word or listening to Him. We follow the same pattern of behavior as our ancestors, Adam and Eve who, in the Garden of Eden sinned against God by deliberately disobeying Him. God knew they had sinned, yet He came to the Garden in the cool of the day, to spend time with them, the way He did each day.
However, it was Adam and Eve who tried in vain to hide from God, as if anyone can hide from Him! When He found them and spoke kindly to them, they began playing the blame game instead of taking responsibility for their mistakes and asking for forgiveness; no different from what we still do today. As a result, the intimate relationship with God, their Creator and Father, was severed. Satan was ecstatic. Well, several thousands of years later, Satan still uses his age old strategies, and quite successfully I might add. He is consequently destroying many people’s lives by tearing down their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Satan’s Never Give Up Attitude
Satan pursues to break our levels of endurance so that even ‘spiritual’ people fall into sin and thereby walk away from their relationship with God. When we learn to overcome a temptation, he tries various other combinations and intensities to somehow tempt us into sin. He is persistent and does not give up easily.
We can learn this from the life of Joseph who endured many temptations and adversities by clinging onto God in every situation. In the Bible, in the book of Genesis chapter 39, we read the part of Joseph’s story where he is faced with a different kind of invitation. His boss Pothiphar’s wife invites him to sleep with her. She knew that Joseph was a handsome young man, alone and away from his family. She was influenced by Satan who was using her to seduce him and make him sin. Joseph quickly refused by saying that he would not betray his master or sin against God and didn’t even once think about or consider the offer.
Satan is not a gentleman, you can turn him down once but he doesn’t care, he will come right back at you troubling you till you give in, and that is exactly what he tried with Joseph too. Each day Potiphar’s wife repeatedly tormented Joseph by inviting him to have a relationship with her that only her husband had the right of having. If the temptation was once, even we might have declined the offer. But here, each day, unrelenting till she would get a positive reply, she troubled Joseph, trying to make him believe that it would not be a sin, because no one would know.
If someone asks you to take a drink of alcohol or have sex or go watch a bad movie once, we might overcome, but it gets really tough when the temptation comes everyday and you have to keep saying no. If you don’t fall into sin, Satan just keeps trying, he won’t let go. We need to pray each day and guard our quiet times with God, asking for His help to overcome every temptation. Satan strikes us at our weakest moments and those are the times we haven’t spent time in God’s presence.
Our friend Joseph overcomes even these levels of persistent temptation. Satan then outright assaults him and literally forces him, not even giving him a choice. Genesis.39:12, says the woman, meaning Potiphar’s wife, grabbed Joseph’s coat and tried to misbehave with him. It’s like your friends hold your head, open your mouth and force feed your alcohol or make you watch porn. In their words, it’s just so you can taste it, feel it. It’s the ‘I had no other go’ level of temptation which is forced onto us. Most of us say that, I had no other way and so I gave into the temptation. These situations are unfair and difficult. But even there we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us.
Joseph left his robe in the hands of his assailant and ran out of the house. Sadly, he was framed and put into prison for a crime he never committed. However, God in His goodness and faithfulness brought Joseph out of the prison and in due time made him the prime minister of the nation he entered as a slave. And the same God that helped Joseph will help us too.
Satan could not make Joseph budge in his decision to not sin. Satan failed at every level of temptation he brought. Joseph was strong, and there is only one reason for his strength. He enjoyed a continued relationship with God as we read in Genesis.39:2 “The Lord was with Joseph”.
Many a time in our lives, Satan bombards us with varying levels and frequencies of temptations, all aimed at causing us to fall out of our relationship with Christ. No matter how hard it is, we must learn to overcome, for the value of our relationship with God far outweighs the temporary pleasure of sin. If Satan himself does not give up that easily, why should we be so quick in giving up our efforts to overcome our weaknesses?
You Are More Than Conquerors
Of course, all this is easier said than done. Each of us have our unique battles. It may seem hard to stop lying, or to watch a bad scene on TV or something that popped up on your computer screen. Some of us may say, “Oh that’s nothing, but it’s this girl or guy who keeps following me day after day telling me she/he sincerely loves me that I struggle with, or saying no to these friends who use drugs or watch a bad movie every single night that I find so hard”. There are others who say, “I’m literally forced into this sin, if I don’t comply, I will have to risk losing my job, or the love of my life.”
It is hard but with the help of Jesus we can overcome. The Bible tells us that when we are tempted, He provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13), it’s just that we need to choose to take it. Even if we do fall into sin, we don’t have to stay that way and lose our relationship with Jesus. All we need to do is go running into His presence and say ‘Dadda, cleanse me for I have sinned against you. Give me the strength to overcome this sin’. He promises to help us overcome, for we are His treasured possession.
So no matter how many times we may have already failed, now is the time to rise up, shake off the dust, go running to the arms of Jesus, seek His forgiveness, receive divine strength and choose to never fall into sin again. Even though the whole world may know our weaknesses and is pointing condemning fingers at us, Jesus is ready to raise our head and say to us, “Go and sin no more”.
In conclusion, we would be wise to not compromise our time alone with God for anything. In His presence we will find new strength, not condemnation, but rather love. His Holy Spirit will help us change, if we spend time reading the Bible, praying and worshipping in God’s presence. Satan may whisper quietly in your ear, “You hypocrite, after committing this sin, do you come to pray? God will never accept you back”.
But Satan is a liar, don’t listen to his voice, but rather listen to the truth of God’s word that if we repent and come to Him, He will do whatever it takes to extend a helping hand to us. We therefore can and will overcome with the help of Jesus Christ. Everytime we say no to sin, we put a smile on Jesus’ face while giving a big blow to Satan. Let’s please our dear Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and let us choose to sin no more. May God bless you.
Question: What sort of temptations have you faced in your life recently? How did you cope up with them?