I was struck by something Oswald Chambers wrote that got me to thinking about how we view sin. He made the comment that “Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things, he tempts us in order to make us lose what God has put into us by regeneration, viz., the possibility of being of value to God.”
As I thought about that I began to consider the underlying purpose for why God still has me voicing the message that He has placed deep in my heart. It all seems to track back to Romans 8:29-30 and what our purpose is for our time here in this world. Yes, we are to spiritually mature under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, but a key part of that is discovering, using and maturing the gifts we have been given to bless our brothers and sisters in Christ. And that is what hit me as I read what brother Chambers wrote.
Satan is continually tempting us to turn away from that path and ignore or misuse the gifts we have been given. He truly doesn’t come directly at us with our sin (he only has to let our old nature feed on those), he just reminds us of them from time-to-time. He is more interested in shifting our point of view by tempting us to lose our focus on what counts and in the process use our gifts to our own advantage and benefit. And our only defense against that is to turn to and stay in communion with the only One who can keep us on the narrow path; the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was tempted in the very same way. Immediately after He was baptized He was led into the wilderness and Satan tempted Him to use His gifts for His own personal gain. But in the end He lost that battle. Jesus knows exactly where we are when the tempter comes and His Spirit is there to lead us in the right direction. And that, I am sure, is a key part of the reason Paul included it in his letter to the worldly Corinthians:
1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Before we were born again into the family of God our temptations came in a whole different realm, but as a member of the bride of Christ our temptations now come in the realm of those that faced our bridegroom. They are not the temptations of a man, they are the temptations of God as a man… and with that we can identify.
Heb 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
So what is the “way of escape?” Who better to guide us through the enemy’s temptations but the One who faced them all as a man and never failed. Oh what a wonderful Saviour!!!