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Tempted and Tried—Part Three

All too often, when struggling against temptation, we fail to hear the hiss of the serpent behind it. We think that our individual struggles begin and end with us alone. We do not see where or how our lust or gluttony or gossip or rage fits into the big picture of the futile struggle of the forces of evil against the kingdom of God. This suits Satan well. If we do not see the significance of what is taking place, we will not recognize the relevance of what has already taken place.
We need to remember that our temptations are never really about us. We are not tempted because of who we are but because of Who we represent. Every human being, no matter how fallen, is an image bearer of God. Satan, and the evil angels that serve him, hates that image because he hates God. Ever since the garden of Eden, the Serpent has been at war with the seed of the woman. No matter who you are, if you are a human being, that Serpent and his minions are at war with you. Conversion doesn’t end the conflict—it only intensifies it. The more you look like Christ, the bigger target you become—because it is His image in you that the Serpent is at war with to begin with. Our temptations, no matter how mild or how wild, are part of a conflict that is bigger than we are.
The enemy we are up against is stronger than we, in our own power, will ever be. Adam in the garden was no match for his lies about forbidden fruit. The Children of Israel in the wilderness were no match for his stories about the way it had been in Egypt. David in Jerusalem was no match for the lure he saw from the rooftop. No matter how wise or strong or experienced you are, you do not have the power to defeat the rebellion that is lodged in the heart of every son or daughter of Adam.
To be continued next week….
Be sure to check out part one (information about the book and author) and part two (favorite quotes from the book)!