Temptation is hard. That’s because the lies of temptation sound so convincing. When Jesus stood on the pinnacle of the Temple, He faced temptation with a wisdom we also can apply.
Some believe the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem represents the pinnacle where Satan dangled temptation before Jesus (Luke 4:9). Satan is the best marketer in the sin business.
A recent phone call reminded me of this.
The Real Cost of Saying Yes to Temptation
When I answered the phone, the voice on the other end gushed: “Congratulations, Mr. Stiles, you’ve just won an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii!”
“You mean . . . you don’t want it?” Silence.
I hung up. It was a short conversation! Why? A solicitor never calls to give anything—unless he or she ultimately gets more back in return.
I have discovered the devil is the same way. Satan knows how to market to people. He’s been doing it a long time. From the beginning, in fact. He can stretch a thin skin of attractiveness over a heap of dung and convince you to climb it. The devil uses the lies of temptation as a down payment. He knows he gets back double for his investment.
He loses nothing. You lose it all.
Only after you enter sin’s doorway will you see that the facade that looked so enticing is actually propped up by a few two-by-fours. One strong wind will collapse the whole thing down on top of you.
Our Lord Stood Firm Against Temptation
What Satan accomplished in the Garden of Eden with Eve and Adam, he tried with Jesus as well at the pinnacle of the Temple. He stirred up doubt about truth of God’s Word or the good of God’s intention.
He tries the same lies of temptation with us.
Satan’s Method Unmasked
Satan will offer us all the kingdoms of the world if we’ll only bow down and worship him. The tempter provides—for our destruction—alternatives to God’s best.
He hurls fiery darts at the essentials of our faith, including:
- doubting our salvation
- believing Scripture but refusing to live it
- busyness that keeps us out of the Word
- doubting that faithfulness is better for us than rebellion
The Lies of Temptation Revealed, Now What Will You Do?
The solicitation is that you can have what you want right now rather than in God’s timing. Jesus’ response to Satan reveals that as a lie. Our Lord stood firm by believing God’s Word over the quick and easy substitute offered by the Adversary.
More than likely, God has been working on your heart in a certain area, but temptation has offered you reasons to refuse God—or excuses to justify yourself. Maybe it’s:
- A person you need to forgive
- A reconciliation in which you can take the first step to show love
- A habit of sloth, lust, or anger that needs the discipline of self-control
Probably, you have at least one area in your life God is calling you to change—and you recognize that it is right to do so.
All excuses aside, what really could be more important?