Another amazing thought today, that every temptation is actually an opportunity to grow through making the right choices. It was Erwin McManus who said when he was with us that the most spiritual thing we will ever do is to make choices, and that the choices we make define where we are in God. I guess I'd never really seen temptation before in that light, but it certainly gives a completely different perspective on how to view temptation.
On a different note it was nice to see an English team actually win last night, especially after the humiliation of the rugby. Ben was very gracious about Wales beating England when I was with him in Peterborough!
Every temptation is an opportunity to do good!
“Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him.” James 1:12 (LB)
On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much an occasion to do the right thing, as it is to do the wrong thing.
While temptation is Satan’s primary weapon to destroy you, God wants to use it to develop you. Every time you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ. To understand this, you must first identify the character qualities of Jesus. One of the most concise descriptions of his character is the fruit of the Spirit: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity. Temptations keep us dependent upon God. Just as the roots grow stronger when wind blows against a tree, so every time you stand up to a temptation you become more like Jesus.
Instead of giving in or giving up, look up to God, expect him to help you, and remember the reward that is waiting for you: “When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy. After they have proved their faith, God will reward them with life forever.” James 1:12 (NCV)