Real Danger, Real Rescue
Only foolish believers think that they cannot be tempted, or that they can manage to fight the attraction of Satan's lies in their own strength. God's anger against the sins of Israel in the wilderness is a warning to believers at any time in history, and especially for us who know that Jesus will soon return. He will call us to account for our sins and to reward faithful discipleship.
The first protection against falling into temptation is to know that we are not strong enough. Proud people fall; in their self-confidence they do not see their weakness. When the test comes they are not ready to defy evil. The second protection is to know that no temptation is unique. Satan has a limited repertoire of lies and he will test our devotion to the Lord in much the same way as he tests other people. However, when he finds a weak spot, he will concentrate his attention there.
The third protection is to know that Satan does not have all power; the Lord limits his tests, as He did for Job. God is faithful to His covenant promise to keep those who have been bought with the precious blood of Christ. Our heavenly Father does not want His children despising His grace. The fourth protection is that God provides ways out of the grip of temptation. Each way is unique and specially delivered to the believer, to equip those who trust the Lord. When the barrage of temptation persists for a long time, He gives on-going strength to endure.
Although some treat their faith as a social pleasure or a personal solace, neither will help us withstand temptation. We must appreciate that the gospel of salvation reveals real danger and real rescue: and that we know we are in danger and really want to be rescued. God is faithful to His promises, and wants us to cooperate with Him. Let us humbly accept our weakness, recognising the weak areas where Satan often attacks; but also trust the Lord to help us through so that we do not fail the tests, but overcome and keep on enduring.
© Dr Paul Adams