If I were to ask who all have ever experienced temptation in their life, every hand would have to be raised. That’s because everyone has been tempted in some area of their life. Temptations are common to everyone. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:15 that even Jesus was tempted as we are, but it tells us that He never sinned.
Since temptations are common and are common to everyone, where we want to be is like Jesus. We want to not sin when we are tempted. Most of our problems in life can be avoided if we just learn not to give in to temptations and to not sin.
Let’s read 1 Cor. 10:1-13 and see what the Bible teaches us.
- Common temptations are the same today as they were when the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness (v.6-10). The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:15-17 that they all relate to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Most every temptation falls into one of these three categories. Here are some common temptations:
- Lust of the flesh relates to what our body craves for and gives us a sense of physical pleasure. This can be sexual immorality (sex outside of God’s plan) as mentioned in verse 8 or it can be something like overindulging in food or sweets. It can also relate to drugs or alcohol that we crave to get us high.
- Lust of the eyes relates to what we see and feel that we have to get it. This can also lead to the lust of the flesh such as starring at a person’s body or viewing pornography. It can also relate to getting obsessed with a car, home or some other possession that you see and feel like you just have to get one like it.
- Pride of life relates to feelings about yourself. It not only can relate to a desire to want everyone to think you are attractive, successful or popular, but it can relate to feeling like you deserve better. The children of Israel were known for their complaining. Complaining about your circumstances can be related to the pride of life.
- Common outcomes from giving into temptations are all bad (v.8-9). The children of Israel gave in to their temptations and death and destruction was the outcome. When you and I give in to temptations to the point of sin, the outcome is always bad. Here are some common outcomes:
- Feeling miserable about yourself is a common outcome. It doesn’t matter if it’s giving in to eating too much food or getting involved in something that’s not appropriate, it always leads to feeling miserable about yourself and your failure.
- Destruction of marriages and families have come many times due to someone giving in to a temptation that affected others. We have to think about the end results of our actions before we commit them.
- Death prematurely can occur when we give in to temptations that affect our body and our relationship with God. The Bible tells us that 23,000 Israelites died in one day due to their rebellion against God.
- Common ways of escape can be used to stay away from temptations that lead to sin. The problem with the Israelites is they didn’t use them very often and just did what was right in their own eyes instead of God’s eyes. Here are a few common ways to avoid giving into temptations:
- Learn from the examples of others and learn what God’s word says about your particular weakness. The scriptures tell us that God put these examples in His word that we might learn from them and not go down the same path. The more you know what God’s word has to say about your weakness, the more strength you will gain. Make a plan of escape for yourself.
- Lean on the Lord for help. Don’t count on your own strength and ability. Call upon the Lord.
- Leave any situation that can become a temptation to you. If certain settings are going to be a temptation, stay away from them. Put safeguards in your life to stay away from temptations.
We can learn a lesson from the hawks. Hawks are birds of prey (hunt other birds for food), but they’re not as strong as kingbirds. So when a hawk is attacked by a kingbird, his approach is NOT to have a lengthy battle, instead, the hawk, after beating off the initial attack, begins to fly higher and higher. Eventually, the kingbird can’t flap into the higher, thinner air and gives up the pursuit. That’s what we Christians must do when the devil attacks us, we need to go higher to the Lord.