Temptation Through the Back Door

June 7, 2012

Mark 14:38
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

Temptation Through the Back Door


How often have we found ourselves in sin because we were in a place of complacency and we had let down our spiritual guard?  We all can easily get distracted with natural things, events and happenings around us.  It is so easy to slip out of that attitude and place of prayer and vigilance then find ourselves in a place of giving place to the devil.
That word “watch” means exactly that; be on the look out, give attention, be cautious, active.  Take heed lest through a letting down of your guard, laziness, sloth or apathy you give place to temptation.  Because the body and the flesh is weak, we can never be dependent upon our natural abilities to walk in righteousness and not be overcome by sin.  Our walk in the Spirit is what gives us victory over sin.  Romans 8:12-14 tells us, “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”  We can plainly see here that it is not by the efforts of the flesh that you put to death the flesh.  If the flesh can find in loophole and means by which it doesn’t have to fully die, it will take it.  So much of the sin in our lives is like when we go out into the garden to pull weeds,  we just tear off the top, but don’t get the roots pulled out and we all know that it won’t be long until they come back.  The Holy Spirit  can help us find the root of our sin, so that it can be permanently extracted and have no more power over us.
Romans teaches us that our power over sin, is by understanding that we live under a new law.  The old law of sin and death brought us into awareness of sin, but didn’t give us victory over it, it condemned us for it.   The new law that we now live under is that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  Under that law we no longer live out of the weakness of our flesh, but out of the strength of the Spirit of God within us.  It is God’s Spirit empowering our spirit that gives us victory over sin and temptation as we walk in Him, relying upon Him and drawing from His strength.
As the flesh is ever present to demand its way and to seek its own, we must ever remain vigilant and watchful that we abide in the Spirit and practice the presence of Christ in our lives.  We know by His word that we are dead to natural man and alive unto Christ, but as long we walk in these natural tabernacles the world, the flesh and sin exerts its influences and pulls upon us.
This is why knowing your identity is so important.  You can’t be what you are, if you don’t know who you are.  We have the identity of Christ and in that identity of “Christ in us the hope of glory”  we host His presence and honor Him by allowing Him to have the expression through our lives and no longer the former man of sin.
The enemy is always out to rob your identity or to try and give you another.  When he can get our eyes and our heart off of who and what we are, then he can lead us into who we are not.  Maintain that place of watchfulness, vigilance, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)”
Let’s end with this exhortation from Ephesians 6, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Somebody needs this today to overcome a temptation in your life.

Blessings,
kent

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