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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sin Is Conceived from Deceptive "Advantages"

For several posts, we've been looking at temptation. Here's our next topic: sin is conceived by agreeing to deceptive "advantages." And we're looking at how Satan tempted Eve, because he continues to do the very kind of things to us. 

In verse 6, Eve saw the deceptive “advantages:” "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate."
The fruit looked good, was a delight to the eyes and offered wisdom. Eve couldn’t keep her eyes off the seemingly “good” things the temptation offered. Even though the garden was filled to overflowing with wonderful food, she only had eyes for the forbidden thing. Tweet that!

That’s what happens to us. Instead of focusing on all the good things God provides, we focus on that which God knows is bad for us. For me, feeling angry seems to offer a sense of being in control--a deceptive "advantage". Or, for some, an affair seems irresistible even though our spouse is attractive. Or alcohol screams at us to indulge when sobriety is the greater advantage. 

As we mentioned in the first post, the way to resist temptation is to STAND (based on “stand your ground” --Ephesians 6:13):

S: See Satan’s schemes
T: Tell yourself the truth
A: Analyze your thinking
N: Name the advantages of resisting
D: Determine the godly response

In this fourth part of the temptation, we need to apply the "N" of STAND: Name the advantages of resisting this temptation. Tweet that!

If you’re struggling with lust, what are the advantages of staying pure? If you’re struggling with workaholism, what are the advantages of paying attention to your family? Write them down and refer to them often. I’m more motivated to quickly deal with my anger because then I have less stress, better relationships and I'm pleasing God.

In our next (and last) installment in this series, we'll see how temptation covers up sin but then suffers consequences. 

(graphic by photo stock at www.digitalphotos.net)

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