Jesus said, “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” (Matthew 18:7). We know that temptations come from our inner desires and wishes (James 1:14). What we cannot forget, however, is that there is a seductive spiritual being using our desires against us.
He is a crafty and cunning serpent (Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3), an accuser waiting for you to slip (Job 1:9-11, 2:4-5), and an absolute adversary (Luke 4:8). The Bible describes him as the serpent that is a devil called Satan.
The Tempter’s tools include traps to catch unsuspecting prey (2 Timothy 2:26). A mouse trap has cheese, but the devil’s traps contain our personal desires. Having tempted us in the past, he knows the weak points in our defenses. Judas had a problem with stealing, and it was his love of money that caused him to betray Jesus Christ (John 12:6; Matt. 26:15).
The Tempter is an economic energy saver using multiple methods of power to encourage sinful behavior. Using the power of outward appeal, he portrays himself as the good guy, an “angel of light,” (2 Corinthians 11:14). He uses the power of evil suggestion to put thoughts, feelings, and ideas in our heart, tempting us to sin (John 13:2). The Tempter uses the power of reasonable doubt to make us question God’s instructions, allowing us to justify our selfish desires in our minds (Genesis 3:1-5). He uses the power of confusion, twisting Scripture out of God’s bigger context and original intent (Matthew 4:6).
The Tempter of sin is so persuasive sometimes that we become his very instrument of temptation (Romans 14:13). Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea,” (Mark 9:42). How many individuals have lost their standing as spiritual leaders or examples because of sin entering their lives? The Bible put it best saying, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall,” (1 Corinthians 10:12), and “Considering yourself lest you also be tempted,” (Galatians 6:1).
We must caution ourselves to not fall victim to the Tempter or become his tool. Never forget the promise we have, “With temptation he will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” (1 Corinthians 10:13). We can escape the devil, if we chose. Look for the way of escape. Look for it with all your being.