On Thursday night in O.C., I am giving the first part of a two-part message on the topic of effectively sharing our faith.
We have all had experiences where we have done it ineffectively, right? I know I have.
So if you are in the O.C. area, I hope you can come. If not, it will be posted online in HD in a few days.
Now, to our topic today . . . temptation.
Have you ever been minding your own business, when “wham!”, you are hit with a heavy-duty temptation. It might be an evil thought, a lustful one, or even doubt.
You wonder, where did that come from? Answer: the devil.
Yes, we play a part in our own temptation, but there is clearly an enemy who comes with his enticments. He knows how to “package his wares” and make bad things look good. That’s because “things forbidden have a certain charm.”
After the dove
It is important to know that temptation and attack often come after times of great blessing.
It was after a time of great blessing in the life of Jesus that He was tempted by Satan. Jesus had just been baptized by His cousin John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit had descended on Him in the form of a dove, and the Heavenly Father proudly said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
But Luke’s Gospel tells us, “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2).
It was after the dove that the devil came. After the blessing comes the trial. The two often go hand in hand.
After God speaks
Times of attack often come after “mountaintop” experiences.
We read of when Jesus was on the mountaintop with Moses and Elijah. Once again, God spoke, “This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
As they descended from the mountain, a man with a demon-possessed child is waiting. Whenever God speaks, the Devil will be there to oppose.
So what is the solution? It is to be aware of this truth, and always keep your guard up. Then the next time those “flaming arrows” of temptation come your way, you will know to put up your shield!