with the 2010 winter olympics in full swing, lent 2010 quietly began last week on ash wednesday. the normal prescribed gospel reading for the first sunday in lent – read in churches around the world for centuries – is the story of the encounter between Jesus and the devil, found in matthew 4.
the devil challenges Jesus three time – a spiritual triathlon of sorts. the events:
1. eat – the temptation: selfishness
2. jump – the temptation: disobedience
3. kneel – the temptation: idolatry
Jesus wins each contest, of course, by combatting the devil with scripture.
these temptations and seductions are very real in our lives as well. if you are a saved child of God, who has placed faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and the promise of eternal life, then you are a target. satan hates anything and everything godly, and that includes you, your marriage, your ministry, your family. and because you are not Jesus, you are gonna fail sometimes. but you don’t have to fail as often as you think.
beth moore, a leading bible study writer, has received hundreds of letters from people who have fallen prey to the devil, and have been honest as to what happened. beth has compiled the facts of these letters into Ten Signs of Seduction. learn from them.
1. individuals were caught off guard by a sudden onslaught of temptation or attack.
2. the season of overwhelming temptation and seduction often followed huge spiritual markers with God.
3. everyone described a mental bombardment.
4. many of those caught in relational seductions (not all seductions are relational) testified that satan got to them through someone close by.
5. many testified to early warning signals.
6. many described their sudden behavior patterns as totally uncharacteristic.
7. virtually all described feelings and practices of isolation.
8. without exception, deception and some level of secrecy were involved.
9. most utterly hated what they were doing.
10. the seduction lasted only for a season.
where does satan have his claws in you? which of these ten signs can you identify in your life right now? what immediate steps can you take to shake free from the seduction and realign yourself with God’s word, his will, and his glory?
you will fall. adam fell. israel fell. Jesus’ disciples fell.
Jesus did not.
and because he is sinless, and because he is on your side, there is hope.
there is always hope.