Moses “chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin.” Hebrews 11:25 (HCSB)
My dad who was a lifelong smoker gave it up cold turkey because of the lung cancer he had because of it. One time I asked him if he ever longed for a cigarette, and his response was sobering. He said, “I always yearn for one, yet I know I will desire it the rest one my life. But if I have one I’ll just want another, and it won’t stop!” That is the true testimony of temptation. It will not satisfy and it will only make it harder to say no next time! I call temptation “soul candy!” It may taste good for a moment but it doesn’t last, you always want more, it can cause cavities and even give you a stomach ache! But oh, it looks so appealing! Temptation is a laser focused attack on your desires. That is because the enemy knows how to tap into your fleshly appetite. Though the temptations are common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13), we all have our specific tastes.
James told us that we are tempted when we are enticed by something that looks desirable. Once that bait is taken, it becomes sin. And when sin is not dealt with through authentic repentance and honest humble confession it becomes an addiction, a habit and ultimately leads to death (James 1:13-15)!
Next time you feel the temptation, whether it is to take that second look at the attractive young lady passing you on the sidewalk, or to indulge in the pornography that is just one click away on your computer, or whatever the temptation may be, say out loud, “I reject this soul candy! I declare it will not satisfy!”
Thank the Lord that though temptation is real and can be really attractive, He is faithful and will provide a way of escape from it, if we ask Him to. Ask Him to give you an alertness to temptation when it is coming and a hatred for soul candy. Cry out for His way to escape it. Use the scriptures and when the temptation comes declare the appropriate passage, such as “How does a young man keep his way pure? By living according to God’s word” (Psalm 119:9). Take the time to look for the appropriate passages for your specific temptations. Marinate on them, and get ready for the battle. The enemy does not like attacking a well-prepared warrior!