“Don’t let us yield to temptation.” Mt 6:13 NLT
Many of us suffer unnecessarily because of our misperceptions about temptation. The first one is: expecting your temptations to cease—or at least decrease. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land they had the same expectation. They were surprised that the Canaanites were still in the land. So they got discouraged, thinking they must have gone the wrong way. “Surely this couldn’t be the land of promise.” God’s Word makes it clear that the Christian life, from start to finish, is warfare. Paul says we are called to “wrestle…against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12). And your level of temptation increases as you draw closer to God. Notice: When Israel first left Egypt God didn’t lead them through Philistine territory “though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt’” (Ex 13:17 NIV). God understood their fledgling faith and protected them from their enemies. But later, when their faith had grown, He permitted them to face seven powerful nations. And just like the Promised Land, the promised life of victory requires you to deal with temptation and wrestle your way through to victory, believing that “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1Jn 4:4). Indeed, their enemy’s attack proved that Israel was in the Promised Land. So experiencing temptations is proof you are truly abiding in Christ.