1 Corinthians 10:13
Do you always recognize when you have been seized by temptation? Satan is subtle. We know how Job was tempted because we read in scripture God permitted Satan to submit him to extraordinary testing. (Job 1:6-12) Everything was taken away from this wealthy man, his possessions, his family and eventually his health. God knew His man! With confidence He permitted this, with only one restriction – Satan could not take Job’s life.
David was tempted on different occasions. In a cave, hidden from his mortal enemy, David could have taken Saul’s life, but he opted to trust God with his own life and future by allowing the King to go free (1 Samuel 24). He is famous for his failure with Bathsheba, but even worse perhaps than that, was when he succumbed to the thought he should take a census throughout his nation (2 Samuel 24:1). Sometimes we ourselves confuse the voice of God with the voice of Satan. Hindsight is always clearer. As David looked back he repented, confessing his sin before God. However, there was a penalty. The consequence of his wrong choice cost 70,000 people their lives, by means of the plague (2 Samuel 24:15)
Why did the man who bravely stood before Goliath in the name of the Lord, fail to remember this Holy One was the source of his strength? Why did he need to count the strength of man-power in his army? We may never know the answer to those specific questions, but what we might learn from David’s experience is how important it is to keep our eyes fixed on God.
Seeking Him, His presence moment by moment, His will for each day, His wisdom and discernment, will give us the courage we need when Satan looks for a weakness in our armour. Knowing our weaknesses is a preventative. Do you know where and when you are most vulnerable? What do you do to prevent Satan getting a toehold in these areas? Denial is the enemy of our faith.
God promises the faithful: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. But when you are tempted He will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under it.”
This was true so often, in David’s case. God sent people to confront David when he sinned because God wanted him to be pure in heart. Joab, general of his army, was horrified at his suggestion to take a census and warned him of the evils (2 Samuel 24:3). Nathan confronted David regarding his sexual sin (2 Samuel 7). Eventually David was conscience-stricken and regretted bitterly the choices he had made.
Why did David listen to his mentors? Because he recognized he had displeased God.
Do we pause to thank God for bringing folks into our lives who have the courage to confront us so that our fellowship with God is not destroyed?
The question for us, as we face temptation today, must be “Is this pleasing to God?” Does it really matter?
by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)