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Concerning temtation

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by woundedsoldierofCHRIST, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Concerning temtation

    CHAPTER 12
    Certain very great mistakes are made concerning this matter of temptation,
    in the practical working out of this life of faith.
    First of all, people seem to expect that, after the soul has entered into its
    rest in God, temptations will cease; and to think that the promised
    deliverance is not only to be from yielding to temptation, but even also
    from being tempted. Consequently, when they find the Canaanite still in
    the land, and see the cities great and walled up to Heaven, they are utterly
    discouraged, and think they must have gone wrong in some way, and that
    this cannot be the true land after all.
    Then, next they make the mistake of looking upon temptation as sin, and
    of blaming themselves for what in reality is the fault of the enemy only.
    This brings them into condemnation and discouragement; and
    discouragement, if continued in, always ends at last in actual sin. The
    enemy makes an easy prey of a discouraged soul; so that we fall often
    from the very fear of having fallen.
    To meet the first of these difficulties it is only necessary to refer to the
    Scripture declarations, that the christian life is to be throughout a warfare;
    and that, especially when seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, we are
    to wrestle against spiritual enemies there, whose power and skill to tempt
    us must doubtless be far superior to any we have ever heretofore
    encountered. As a fact, temptations generally increase in strength tenfold
    after we have entered into the interior life, rather than decrease; and no
    amount or sort of them must ever for a moment lead us to suppose we
    have not really found the true abiding place. Strong temptations are
    generally a sign of great grace, rather than of little grace. When the children
    of Israel had first left Egypt, the Lord did not lead them through the
    country of the Philistines, although that was the nearest way; for God
    said, "lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they
    return to Egypt." But afterwards, when they learned better how to tru st
    Him, He permitted their enemies to attack them. Then also in their
    wilderness journey they met with but few enemies and fought but few
    battles, compared to those in the land, where they found seven great
    nations and thirty-one kings to be conquered, besides walled cities to be
    taken, and giants to be overcome.
    They could not have fought with the Canaanites, or the Hittites, and the
    Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, until they
    had gone into the land where these enemies were. And the very power of
    your temptations, dear christian, therefore, may perhaps be one of the
    strongest proofs that you really are in the land you have been seeking to
    enter, because they are temptations peculiar to that land. You must never
    allow your temptations to cause you to question the fact of your having
    entered the promised "heavenly places."
    The second mistake is not quite so easy to deal with. It seems hardly
    worth while to say that temptation is not sin, and yet most of the distress
    about it arises from not understanding this fact. The very suggestion of
    wrong seems to bring pollution with it, and the evil agency not being
    recognized, the poor tempted soul begins to feel as if it must be very bad
    indeed, and very far off from God to have had such thoughts and
    suggestions. It is as though a burglar should break into a man’s house to
    steal, and, when the master of the house began to resist him and to drive
    him out, should turn round and accuse the owner of being himself the thief.
    It is the enemy’s grand ruse for entrapping us. He comes and whispers
    suggestions of evil to us, doubts, blasphemies, jealousies, envyings, and
    pride; and then turns round and says, "Oh, how wicked you must be to
    think of such things! It is very plain that you are not trusting the Lord; for
    if you were, it would have been impossible for these things to have entered
    y our heart." This reasoning sounds so very plausible that the soul often
    accepts it as true, and at once comes under condemnation, and is filled with
    discouragement; then it is easy for it to be led on into actual sin. One of the
    most fatal things in the life of faith is discouragement. One of the most
    helpful is cheerfulness. A very wise man once said that in overcoming
    temptations, cheerfulness was the first thing, cheerfulness the second, and
    cheerfulness the third. We must expect to conquer. That is why the Lord
    said so often to Joshua, "Be strong and of a good courage"; "Be not afraid,
    neither be thou dismayed"; "Only be thou strong and very courageous."
    And it is also the reason He says to us, "Let not your heart he troubled
    neither let it be afraid." The power of temptation is in the fainting of our
    own hearts. The enemy knows this well, and always begins his assaults by
    discouraging us, if it can in any way be accomplished.
    Sometimes this discouragement arises from what we think is a righteous
    grief and disgust at ourselves that such things could be any temptation to
    us; but which is really a mortification arising from the fact that we have
    been indulging in a secret self-congratulation that our tastes were too pure,
    or our separation from the world was too complete for such things to
    tempt us. We have expected something from our selves, and have been
    sorely disappointed not to find that something there, and are discouraged
    in consequence. This mortification and discouragement are really a far
    worse condition than the temptation itself, though they present an
    appearance of true humility, for they are nothing but the results of
    wounded self-love. True humility can bear to see its own utter weakness
    and foolishness revealed, because it never expected anything from itself,
    and knows that its only hope and expectation must be in God. Therefore,
    instead of discouraging the soul from trusting, it drives it to a deeper and
    more utte r trust. But the counterfeit humility which springs from self,
    plunges the soul into the depths of a faithless discouragement, and drives it
    into the very sin at which it is so distressed.
    I remember once hearing an allegory that illustrated this to me wonderfully.
    Satan called together a council of his servants to consult how they might
    make a good man sin. One evil spirit started up and said, "I will make him
    sin." "How will you do it?" asked Satan. "I will set before him the
    pleasures of sin," was the reply; "I will tell him of its delights and the rich
    rewards it brings." "Ah," said Satan, "that will not do; he has tried, it, and
    knows better than that." Then another spirit started up and said, "I will
    make him sin." "What will you do?" asked Satan. "I will tell him of the
    pains and sorrows of virtue. I will show him that virtue has no delights,
    and brings no rewards." "Ah, no!" exclaimed Satan, "that will not do at all;
    for he has tried it, and knows that ‘wisdom’s ways are ways of
    pleasantness and all her paths are peace.’ " "Well," said another imp,
    starting up, "I will undertake to make him sin." "And what will you do?"
    asked Satan, again. "I will discourage his soul," was the short reply. "Ah,
    that will do," cried Satan, — "that will do! We shall conquer him now."
    And they did.
    An old writer says, "All discouragement is from the devil"; and I wish
    every christian would just take this as a pocket-piece, and never forget it.
    We must fly from discouragement as we would from sin.
    But this is impossible if we fail to recognize the true agency in temptation.
    For if the temptations are our own fault, we cannot help being discouraged.
    But they are not. The Bible says, "Blessed is the man that endureth
    temptation"; and we are exhorted to "count it all joy when we fall into
    divers temptations." Temptation, therefore, cannot be sin; and the truth is,
    it is no more a sin to hear these whispers and suggestions of evil in our
    souls, than it is for us to hear the swearing or wicked talk of bad men as we
    pass along the street. The sin only comes in either case by our stopping
    and joining in with them. If, when the wicked suggestions come, we turn
    from them at once, as we would from wicked talk, and pay no more
    attention to them, we do not sin. But if we carry them on in our minds,
    and roll them under our tongues, and dwell on them with a half-consent of
    our will to them as true, then we sin. We may be enticed by evil a
    thousand times a day without sin, and we cannot help these enticings. But
    i f the enemy can succeed in making us think that his enticings are our sin,
    he has accomplished half the battle, and can hardly fail to gain a complete
    A dear lady once came to me under great darkness, simply from not
    understanding this. She had been living very happily in the life of faith for
    some time, and had been so free from temptation as almost to begin to
    think she would never be tempted any more. But suddenly a very peculiar
    form of temptation had assailed her, which had horrified her. She found
    that the moment she began to pray, dreadful thoughts of all kinds would
    rush into her mind. She had lived a very sheltered, innocent life, and these
    thoughts seemed so awful to her, that she felt she must be one of the most
    wicked of sinners to be capable of having them. She began by thinking she
    could not possibly have entered into the rest of faith, and ended by
    concluding that she had never even been born again. Her soul was in an
    agony of distress. I told her that these dreadful thoughts were altogether
    the suggestions of the enemy, who came to her the moment she kneeled in
    prayer, and poured them into her mind, and that she herself was not to
    blame f or them at all; that she could not help them any more than she
    could help hearing if a wicked man should pour out his blasphemies in her
    presence. And I urged her to recognize and treat them as from the enemy;
    not to blame herself or be discouraged, but to turn at once to Jesus and
    commit them to Him. I showed her how great an advantage the enemy had
    gained by making her think these thoughts were originated by herself, and
    plunging her into condemnation and discouragement on account of them.
    And I assured her she would find a speedy victory if she would pay no
    attention to them; but, ignoring their presence, would simply turn her back
    on them and look to the Lord.
    She grasped the truth, and the next time these thoughts came she said to
    the enemy, "I have found you out now. It is you who are suggesting these
    dreadful thoughts to me, and I hate them, and will have nothing to do with
    them. The Lord is my Saviour; take them to Him, and settle them in His
    presence." Immediately the baffled enemy, finding himself discovered, fled
    in confusion, and her soul was perfectly delivered.
    Another thing also. The enemy knows that if a christian recognizes a
    suggestion of evil as coming from him, he will recoil from it far more
    quickly than if it seems to be the suggestion of his own mind. If Satan
    prefaced each temptation with the words, "I am Satan, your relentless
    enemy; I have come to make you sin," I suppose we would hardly feel any
    desire at all to yield to his suggestions. He has to hide himself in order to
    make his baits attractive. And our victory will be far more easily gained if
    we are not ignorant of his devices, but recognize him at his very first
    We also make another great mistake about temptations in thinking that all
    time spent in combating them is lost. Hours pass, and we seem to have
    made no progress, because we have been so beset with temptations. But it
    often happens that we have been serving God far more truly during these
    hours, than in our times of comparative freedom from temptation.
    Temptation is really more the devil’s wrath against God, than against us.
    He cannot touch our Saviour, but he can wound our Saviour by conquering
    us, and our ruin is important to him only as it accomplishes this. We are,
    therefore, really fighting our Lord’s battles when we are fighting
    temptation, and hours are often worth days to us under these
    circumstances. We read, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation";
    and I am sure this means enduring the continuance of it and its frequent
    recurrence. Nothing so cultivates the grace of patience as the endurance of
    temptation, and nothing so drives the soul to an utter dependence upon the
    Lord Jesus as its conti nuance. And finally, nothing brings more praise and
    honor and glory to our dearest Lord Himself, than the trial of our faith
    which comes through manifold temptations. We are told that it is more
    precious than gold, though it be tried with fire, and that we, who patiently
    endure the trial, shall receive for our reward "the crown of life which the
    Lord hath promised to them that love Him."
    We cannot wonder, therefore, any longer at the exhortation with which the
    Holy Ghost opens the Book of James: "Count it all joy when ye fall into
    divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh
    patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect
    and entire, wanting nothing."
    Temptation is plainly to be the blessed instrument used by God to
    complete our perfection, and thus the enemy’s own weapons are turned
    against himself, and we see how it is that all things, even temptations, can
    work together for good to them that love God.
    As to the way of victory over temptations, it seems hardly necessary to
    say to those whom I am at this time especially addressing, that it is to be
    by faith. For this is, of course, the foundation upon which the whole
    interior life rests. Our one great motto is throughout, "We are nothing,
    Christ is all." And always and everywhere we have started out to stand,
    and walk, and overcome, and live by faith. We have discovered our own
    utter helplessness, and know that we cannot do anything for ourselves.
    Our only way, therefore, is to hand the temptation over to our Lord, and
    trust Him to conquer it for us. But when we put it into His hands we must
    leave it there. It must be as real a committing of ourselves to Him for
    victory, as it was at first a committing of ourselves to Him for salvation.
    He must do all for us in the one case, as completely as in the other. It was
    faith only then, and it must be faith only now.
    And the victories which the Lord works in conquering the temptations of
    those who thus trust Him are nothing short of miracles, as thousands can
    But into this part of the subject I cannot go at present, as my object has
    been rather to present temptation in its true light, than to develop the way
    of victory over it. I want to deliver conscientious, faithful souls from the
    bondage into which they are sure to be brought, if they fail to understand
    the true nature and use of temptation, and confound it with sin. I want that
    they should not be ignorant of the fact that temptations are, after all, an
    invaluable part of our soul’s development; and that, whatever may be their
    original source, they are used by God to work out in us many blessed
    graces of character which would otherwise be lacking. Wherever
    temptation is, there is God also, superintending and controlling its power.
    "Where wert thou, Lord I while I was being tempted?" cried the saint of
    the desert. "Close beside thee, my son, all the while," was the tender
    Temptations try us; and we are worth nothing if we are not tried. They
    develop our spiritual strength and courage and knowledge; and our
    development is the one thing God cries for. How shallow would all our
    spirituality be if it were not for temptations. "Blessed is the man that
    endureth temptation: for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life,
    which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." This "crown of
    life" will be worth all that it has cost of trial and endurance to obtain it; and
    without these it could not be attained.
    An invalid lady procured once the cocoon of a very beautiful butterfly
    with unusually magnificent wings hoping to have the pleasure of seeing it
    emerge from its cocoon in her sick-chamber. She watched it eagerly as
    spring drew on, and finally was delighted to see the butterfly beginning to
    emerge But it seemed to have great difficulty. It pushed, and strained, and
    struggled, and seemed to make so little headway, that she concluded it
    must need some help, and with a pair of delicate scissors she finally
    clipped the tight cord that seemed to bind in the opening of the cocoon.
    Immediately the cocoon opened wide, and the butterfly escaped without
    any further struggle. She congratulated herself on the success of her
    experiment, but found in a moment that something was the matter with the
    butterfly. It was all out of the cocoon it is true, but its great wings were
    lifeless and colorless, and dragged after it as a useless burden. For a few
    days it lived a miserable sickly life, and then died, without having once
    lifted its powerless wings. The lady was sorely disappointed and could
    not understand it. But when she related the circumstance to a naturalist, he
    told her that it had all been her own fault. That it required just that pushing
    and struggling to send the life fluid into the veins of the wings, and that her
    mistaken kindness in shortening the struggle, had left the wings lifeless and
    Just so do our spiritual wings need the struggle and effort of our conflict
    with temptation and trial; and to grant us an escape from it would be to
    weaken the power of our soul to "mount up with wings as eagles," and
    would deprive us of the "crown of life" which is promised to those who
  2. The standard of practical holy living has been so low among christians that
    any good degree of real devotedness of life and walk is looked upon with
    surprise, and even often with disapprobation, by a large portion of the
    Church. And, for the most part, the professed followers of the Lord Jesus
    Christ are so little like Him in character or in action, that to an outside
    observer there would not seem to be much harmony between them.
    But we, who have heard the call of our God to a life of entire consecration
    and perfect trust, must do differently from all this. We must come out
    from the world and be separate, and must not be conformed to it in our
    characters nor in our purposes. We must no longer share in its spirit or its
    ways. Our conversation must be in Heaven, and we must seek those things
    that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. We must
    walk through the world as Christ walked. We must have the mind that was
    in Him. As pilgrims and strangers we must abstain from fleshly lusts that
    war against the soul. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we must disentangle
    ourselves from the affairs of this life as far as possible, that we may please
    Him who hath chosen us to be soldiers. We must abstain from all
    appearance of evil. We must be kind one to another, tenderhearted,
    forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven us. We
    must not resent injuries or unkindness, but must return good for evil, and
    turn the other cheek to the hand that smites us. We must take always the
    lowest place among our fellowmen; and seek not our own honor, but the
    honor of others. We must be gentle, and meek, and yielding; not standing
    up for our own rights, but for the rights of others. All that we do must be
    done for the glory of God. And, to sum it all up, since He which hath
    called us is holy, so we must be holy in a manner of conversation; because
    it is written, "Be ye holy, for I am holy."
    Now, dear friends, this is all exceedingly practical and means, surely, a life
    very different from the lives of most professors around us. It means that
    we do really and absolutely turn our backs on self, and on self’s motives
    and self’s aims. It means that we are a peculiar people, not only in the
    eyes of God, but in the eyes of the world around us; and that, wherever we
    go, it will be known from our Christlike lives and conversation that we are
    followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and are not of the world, even as He
    was not of the world. We shall no longer feel that our money is our own,
    but the Lord’s, to be used in His service. We shall not feel at liberty to use
    our energies exclusively in the pursuit of worldly means, but, seeking first
    the kingdom of God and His righteousness, shall have all needful things
    added unto us. We shall find ourselves forbidden to seek the highest
  3. Lord Jesus please forgive me i need You DEar LOrd change my heart Lord i surrender my whole life to You.
  4. There is no sense fighting temptation, it is best to flee completely from it. Run like Usain Bolt away from the evil around the corner
  5. What do you guys think of C.S. Lewis? (Not the childrens novels) I was at a train station today and purchased Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. I heard they were good beforehand, but I wonder, is it dangerous to read a satire on demons? Do I let my guard down by laughing at thier sinister bussiness with human souls? I haven't read it, I just figured I'd get some opinions first. God Bless.
  6. TAke good care what you read bro ask God and let Him lead.
  7. THe word of God says to abtsatain from every form of evil.I dont even own a television or radio any more.We need tom vbe so careefull what we place before our eyes and ears.A little bit of sin works through the whole lump right.So why open doors to the filthy enemy of our souls.
  8. Hi Least in the Kingdom. They're both good books. Mere Christianity has been very helpful to many who are looking for Christ, as well as for Christians. Screwtape Letters is quite insightful also, it might a satire, but it's a serious book, written to help believers recognise what's behind their struggles. I'd recommend both.
  9. Dusty or someone...I need help-don't know if these picters will show up, also wanted to start new thread with it--trying to get this out everywhere. Today my wife and I drove by a church with a memorial of 3560 crosses representing the number of babies killed each day in the United States, we took some pictures of my daughter in the field, It made it seem real. Thank you.

    Save those who are being led away to death.
    Hold back those who are about to be killed.
    Don't say, "But we didn't know anything about this."
    The One who knows what you are thinking sees it.
    The One who guards your life knows it.
    He will pay each person back for what he has done.
    Proverbs 24:11-12
    "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

    This is my little girl. Her name is Lilly.​
    I’ve seen her with hurt and grief in her eyes, but if you could tell her the evil that is happening, and she could understand what you are saying, I don’t think she would be able to bear it. It would crush her, because she could not comprehend how something so heinous could be considered ‘socially acceptable,’ ‘convient,’ or ‘common.’ Before you argue your rights to anybody, why don’t you try and tell that to one of them. God is pro-life, are you?​
  10. God sees our hearts we need to pray that He will touch hearts and lives and especially those dear wiomen caught up in that vicous circle.Only God can change hearts open eyes.
  11. We have to stand together and fight thios fight together there is a war going on and we know who holds the victors crown Jesusd alone.

  12. Least .... Click on this link for info ...

  13. I will, thank you. For now it's holding up on Kevin's thread. Thanks!

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