Monday, May 28, 2012

The Lure of Temptation





Scripture


With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him.
(Proverbs 7:21 NASB)
Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
(Proverbs 7:22 NASB)
Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
(Proverbs 7:23 NASB)
Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
(Proverbs 7:24 NASB)
Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths.
(Proverbs 7:25 NASB)
For many are the victims she has cast down, And numerous are all her slain.
(Proverbs 7:26 NASB)
Her house is the way to Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death.
(Proverbs 7:27 NASB)

 

Observation


Solomon in his wisdom understood the lure of the temptress, the one who could deceive a good man and bring about his destruction. Temptation flatters people and makes them believe things about themselves that are not true. It creates a false sense of self-confidence so that no other voices can be heard. No longer do we hear the voice of reason which comes from family or loved ones; we only hear what we want to hear and we believe the words which are being told to us, because they make us feel good. Disregarding all that we know is right, we simply follow the one who has pumped our egos, being willing to go anywhere with them. When we discover it's a trap, it's far too late. We have traveled on the path which leads to death.

What is the only way to be safe? We cannot allow our hearts to be turned to her ways. Whatever the temptation, whether its a person, money, power, etc -- we cannot let our hearts be turned on by these. Instead, our hearts must be turned on daily by the Lord. It is the only way in which we can remain safe from the temptations of life. The temptations will come along and they will look and sound so good and we will want to follow after them. Suddenly we will discover that there is a path that leads us to that temptation. Do not walk down that path! It will lead to destruction.

 

Application


Far too often we do not become aware of the moment when we stumble onto the path of temptation. The sin which occurs as a result of temptation is not usually something that happens all at once. Rather, we begin to follow the path that will lead to temptation. What are those paths? In terms of relationships it is when we allow ourselves to be placed in compromising situations with others. An affair usually begins in a very "innocent" way, when we simply allow ourselves to talk to, think about and hang out with another person. But if we keep that up, the path will lead to destruction. You cannot allow your heart to go in that direction, but must keep your heart on God.

Temptation is not simply about human relationships, but temptation looks for the weakness in all of us. It is when our ears begin to get tickled by the things that others say and we are willing to follow the advice of those who have never been a part of our lives that we must ask ourselves where we are going! The lure of temptation is powerful. It will lure us away from all that God desires for us. If there are those around you who are trying to warn you and seem to be calling you back from a path, you ought to listen. Sadly, the enticing power of the temptation may have you in its grip. Get away, get time with God and ask him to intervene to set you free and run back to safety!

 

Prayer


Lord, I pray as you taught us, to lead us not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. Amen.

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