Luke 8:13 “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for awhile believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”
Here is described some who hear the Word of God; and their hearts respond to it with joy!
They believe for awhile, for they receive the word, not just hear it.
This means that their hearts want Salvation. They understand the promise of it, as well as what it demands of them.
They will to obey it, and go along great…..until something halts their progress.
That “something” is Temptation.
To tempt is to arouse to action or anger; to induce to do something; to persuade.
Temptation comes along and knocks at the door of your life.
Life might be treating you badly. You might already be hurt, or angry, or discouraged (and this is a big one: discouragement)
So the devil, our Adversary, who is behind each temptation, sends “Complaints” to speak to us.
Complaints comes and knocks at our door. When we open to see who it is, he says, “How many times are you going to put up with their ingratitude?”
“You deserve to have that position. You work harder than anybody else!”
“They should never have said that about you. You are so much nicer than they are.”
He says exactly what we want to hear.
Should you listen? (First mistake. Eve was tripped up by listening to the devil, she should have run away at the first suggestion out of his mouth)
Should you open to see exactly what “Complaints” is offering?
Now if we are “sober (serious about standing with Christ),
and vigilant (watchful); we can refuse Complaint’s suggestions.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
Because, devour is what the devil wants to do, with this Temptation. To eat up every determination to do God’s Will.
(Believe me, every temptation we yield to; weakens our faith. If you would be strong in the faith, flee temptation.)
Remember, that is what it is: it is a Temptation, no matter what name it comes knocking under.
If we listen, and consider what Temptation is offering; a foothold is made in your heart or your understanding. And once there, they are twice as hard to resist.
Christ Jesus taught His disciples to pray:
Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
There are two parts to dealing with Temptation:
1. “Lord, lead us not into temptation”. Let me keep asking for the help I need. To lean on You to say and do only what I should.
James 1:19-20 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear (God), slow to speak, slow to wrath:
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
2. “but, deliver us from evil”. For there is a way out of Temptation, once we are in it.
James 4:7-8 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you, cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double-minded.”
The first is submit to God: confess your desire to listen and go along with Temptation, and confess your anger (or what ever the sin was).
This submission is a deliberate act of your will, and the real Victory is in the submission.
Then resist the devil: “The Lord rebuke thee.” (We certainly can’t in our own power, but in His name, we can.)
Then draw near to God, and He will draw near to you: This is a military movement. It is going back, to take cover in Christ Jesus, our Rock; and He will protect us, and fight for us in a special way.
Temptations are common to man.
But we can be delivered from them:
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
And God has promised a blessing for all those who endure.
Endure means that you stand with Christ Jesus; and when the temptation is over, you are still standing with Jesus.
(You may fall. But He has provided His forgiveness, and cleansing power to get us up and stand again with Him.)
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”