Mike Hurt,

Long story short – temptation is real. Sin is costly, but God is faithful.

This was the takeaway from a recent look at the story of Adam and Eve. Eve, along with Adam, fell prey to temptation, and we all continue to pay the price for their failure and ours. The boundaries were clear. The expectations were set. Enjoy everything in the garden except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Then the tempter entered paradise. The serpent started by twisting God’s word and attempted to get Eve to question God’s word. When that failed, the devil delivered a lie. When the lie didn’t work, he moved on to make a promise that he never could deliver on.

These are the same tricks the enemy uses on us today He makes us question God’s word by twisting His truth. He delivers a lie in an attempt to deceive us. He makes promises that sin can never deliver on.

Because temptation is real, Eve was deceived by the serpent (along with Adam) and she sinned by consuming the forbidden fruit. With one bite, sin entered our world. Because sin is costly, the effects of sin were immediate. It brought shame. It led to hiding from God. It resulted in Adam and Eve blaming everyone except themselves. Adam blamed Eve and even blamed God. Eve blamed the serpent but blame didn’t fix a thing.

Ultimately, sin brought separation from God and death. Make no mistake: temptation is real and sin is costly.

If this is true (and it is), what can we do to resist temptation today?

1. Pray that you don’t fall into temptation. Be proactive and pray through your issues. Is anger your issue? Pray. Is a negative attitude your issue? Pray. Is lust a problem for you? Pray. Have an addiction? Pray. Be proactive and pray that you won’t fall into temptation.

Jesus told his followers the same thing. In Luke 22:40, we see that just before Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, He told His disciples to “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

Today, pray that you won’t fall into temptation and be ready when it comes.

2. Stand up against, don’t fall for temptation. You aren’t powerless against temptation. You are powerful because the Spirit of God lives in you. You are powerful because He that is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. You are powerful because God will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. He is 100% faithful. Because we aren’t powerless to temptation, we can endure it and we can always look for the way of escape that God provides.

Where does the assurance of our power over temptation come from? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13 about God’s faithfulness when we are tempted. “13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” You can stand up against temptation because God will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. You can also stand up against temptation because God always provides a way of escape.

While we have the power to stand up against temptation because God is faithful, God is faithful even when we fall for temptation and sin. So what should you do when this happens?

3. When you blow it, own it. Adam and Eve blamed everyone when they sinned.

Blaming others only makes things works. When you blow through a boundary, when you cross a line, when you sin, don’t make things worse by getting defensive. Instead, own it and confess it to God.

Because God is faithful, He promises to forgive you and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. Let John’s words sink in from 1 John 1:9, “9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Confessing sin is as simple as talking to God by admitting that what you have done is wrong. Don’t hide from God. Don’t blame others. Go straight to God and confess it.

Mike Hurt is the senior pas tor of Parkway Church.

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