Jesus said, “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” (Matthew 18:7) We know that temptations come from our inner desires and wishes (James 1:14). What we cannot forget, however, is that there is a seductive spiritual being using our desires against us.
He is a crafty and cunning serpent (Genesis 3:1; II Corinthians 11:3), an accuser waiting for you to slip (Job 1:9-11, 2:4,5), and an absolute adversary (Luke 4). The Bible describes him as the serpent that is the devil called Satan.
The tempter’s tools include traps to catch unsuspecting prey (II Timothy 2:26). Having tempted us in the past, he knows the weak points in our defenses. Judas had a problem with stealing, and it was his love of money that caused him to betray Jesus Christ (John 12:6; Matthew 26:15).
Using the power of outward appeal, he portrays himself as the good guy, an “angel of light,” (II Corinthians 11:14). He uses the power of evil suggestion to put thoughts, feelings, and ideas in our heart, tempting us to sin (John 13:2). The tempter uses the power of reasonable doubt to make us question God’s instructions, allowing us to justify our selfish desires in our minds (Genesis 3:1-5). He uses the power of confusion, twisting Scripture out of God’s bigger context and original intent (Matthew 4:6).
The tempter of sin is so persuasive sometimes that we become his very instrument of temptation (Romans 14:13). How many individuals have lost their standing as spiritual leaders or examples because of sin entering their lives? The Bible put it best saying, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall,” (I Corinthians 10:12), and “each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
We must caution ourselves to not fall victim to the tempter or become his tool. Never forget the promise we have, “with the temptation [God] will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it,” (I Corinthians 10:13). We can escape the tempter, if we chose. Look for the way of escape. Look for it with all of your being.