This is Day 22 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
Temptation is ever present. The devil seeks to sift our souls like wheat. Sometimes it can be extremely painful. Sometimes we give in.
There are different kinds of temptation of course. I am tempted to eat peanut butter M&Ms constantly, but that won't send my soul to hell. But there are so many temptations that will. And, unfortunately, we don't even notice most of them.
Hopefully we all resist the temptation to murder. It's not a sin that tempts me very much. The devil has figured out that I'm not going to give in to that one no matter how hard he pushes. So he moves on to more tempting sins.
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you," James write in his epistle at chapter 4 verse 7. When we show the devil that we will not give in to that temptation he stops tempting us with it. But that doesn't mean he always goes away. Sometimes he just moves on to a different temptation.
It is the more subtle sins that tempt people the most, I think. Gossip, self-righteousness, pride, vain-glory. One of the reasons is that these are not looked down upon by society. After all everyone has vain glory--excessive pride in ourselves so that we want everyone to notice how awesome we are--right? But the more subtle sins lead to more and more egregious sins.
Like an enemy general assaulting defensive positions--once the devil overcomes us in one area, he starts attacking another. So sin begets sin. Giving in to the devil even a little risks giving in a lot.
I fail at resisting the devil on a daily basis. Temptation is strong and I am weak. But I must continue the battle, and with God's help one day I will succeed.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Peter Puckett series, a Christian children's fantasy that explores what it means to know and love Christ through exciting adventures. His books and blog can be found at rcvanlandingham.com.