“Tested And Tried Daily”

Posted: March 22, 2019 in Christian Life, Devil / Satan, Spiritual Enemies, Spiritual Warfare

Every day Christians are being tested and tried in various ways. Others, including spirit beings, good and evil, are watching and listening to our words and noticing our responses to others (Job 1:6 ff; 2:1 ff; 1 Peter 1:12). James, the Lord’s half-brother, wrote this to Christians, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

He also wrote, “Blessed is the man [or woman] who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). If we truly love God, we will obey Him and resist the sinful temptations that come our way.

Defeated. Sadly, there are many Christians who are defeated by their spiritual enemies quite often. This may be due to improper teaching on the part of the Bible teacher. Or it could stem from a believer’s unwillingness to study the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17), and put himself/herself under the teaching of a godly Pastor-teacher (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17) who can help the believer learn how to identify and overcome the temptations that come from the devil, the sin nature, or the present world system. Using a “one size fits all” approach to temptations won’t work. Blaming the devil for everything will not work.  We have three specific spiritual enemies, and there are three different ways of overcoming the temptations that come from them.

Devil. To overcome the temptations that the devil hurls at believers, we must be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). Then we must submit to God and resist the devil after the whole armor of God has been put on (James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17). It is our understanding that there are 14 specific temptations that the devil and/or demons throw at us. Each piece of the armor is designed to counteract specific temptations.

Sin Nature. To overcome the sin nature, a believer must understand that the works of the flesh are all perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21). But as long as a believer walks (orders his/her life) by means of God the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to succumb to the temptations that come from the sin nature. We must “reckon [ourselves] to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11; Galatians 5:16, 25). We are told to flee youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22). God doesn’t want the sin nature to have dominion over us (Romans 6:14; See 1 John 2:1 ff). Those Christians who deny that they have a sin nature are deceiving themselves, not others (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25).

World. To overcome the present world system, we must first identify it as to what it is. It is a system, devised by the devil to appeal to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride (vain glory) of life (1 John 2:15-17). It involves urbanization, human government, commerce, entertainment, education, industry, and senseless warfare (Genesis 4:16-24; See Luke 11:50, 51). While living here on earth, a believer may use the world system, but he/she is not to abuse it or love it by making it more important than God and His children (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17). We are citizens of heaven and we’re just passing through it on our way to heaven (Philippians 3:20).

God’s Will. God has a “desirous will” for His children that may or may not be carried out. He energizes His children to be willing to be doing of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He also provides His resurrection power for us to overcome our spiritual enemies (Philippians 3:10; 4:13, 19). “No temptation has overtaken [us] except such as is common to man[kind]; but God is faithful, who will not allow [us] to be tempted beyond what ]we] are able, but with the temptation will make the way of escape, that [we] may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In spite of what God has done for us, some (perhaps many) choose to enjoy the temporary, sinful pleasures of this life (Hebrews 11:25) to their own detriment and a premature, physical death (1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:30).

Confess. When a believer sins (acts lawlessly), he/she needs to repent (change his/her mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9) and then confess it (i. e., admit the sin by naming it) and then claim God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Do you have unconfessed sins in your life that are interrupting your fellowship with God?

Scars. Even though a Christian may confess his/her sins and be forgiven, the physical, emotional, or psychological scars may last a life time. Thankfully, true Christians won’t have these scars and memories in eternity future (Revelation 21:4). But unbelievers will weep and gnash their teeth forever in the lake of fire where the worm (sin nature and its cravings) does not die, and where the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Matthew 25:41, 46).

Deliverance.  To avoid this awful place, one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? It not, why not now?  If you’re a  true Christian who wants to to display your love for God and earn the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12), and who wants to avoid God’s chastening and scourging in this life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 8:1), then learn how to overcome sinful temptations (Hebrews 12:5-11). God doesn’t want us to sin (1 John 2:1), and has made it possible for us not to sin (1 Corinthians 10:31). Christians have been given everything we need for life and godliness in God’s Word (2 Peter 1:3). But we must study it carefully (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17).  Keep this thought in mind.  “The Lord will judge His people [believers].  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30, 31).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you have questions/comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future ones as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube.”

Additional Help

Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” http://gracelifebaptistchurch.us/publications.php

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, “He That Is Spiritual” https://www.amazon.com/s?k=he+that+is+spiritual+chafer&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Spiritual Enemies https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-enemies/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/our-perverted-sin-nature/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/when-we-sin-what/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/our-adversary-the-devil/

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