Temptation or Test?

Eve stock photo

“I can resist everything except temptation.” –Oscar Wilde, the playwright

At the outset of Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus was led by the Spirit Jesus to be tempted by the devil. And, while the text doesn’t say it, He was being tested by God. Every temptation is both a test from God and an enticement from Satan. Temptations will test to prove a thing genuine or a test will become a temptation to prove a thing false. In the former sense God tests us. But it is in the latter sense that the devil tempts us. The battle Jesus faced in the wilderness is the battle we face every day.

We see this pattern occurring in every area of life. God sends a trial and Satan turns it into a temptation. For example, a child contracts a deadly disease; you lose your job; you get a promotion and a nice raise in salary. All events in life are used by God to build us up or used by Satan to pull us down. Tests and trials are a normal part of the Christian life. A trial, however, becomes a temptation when we respond wrongly. That which was sent into our life in order to make us stronger is that which actually tears us down and makes us weaker when we respond in the power of the flesh. What God means for good; Satan uses for evil. We hang in the balance between the tests from God and the perversions of Satan as he twists that which God gives us and whispers in our ear to thwart the things of God.

Every temptation, therefore, is an opportunity to demonstrate our faith in God and prove our allegiance to Christ or succumb to evil and give in to the Devil. Chose God. Pass the test. Win the battle.

About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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