God knows what is hidden in our heart. He is kind toward us and knows how to lead us out of a trap if we will yield to Him.”
While temptation is not sin, it is the signpost to sin. It resides at the fork in the road, pointing toward a shimmering mirage in the distance.
We assume that temptation is an attraction that exists outside of us, hovering in our pathway toward righteousness. However, temptation is a magnet drawn to the tendency of idolatry that exists within us. It unburies the hidden desires of our heart and pulls them to the surface.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13-14
Temptation comes having been drawn to and drawing forth the desires within us. These are the issues that have not yet died at the cross. Jesus made us righteous through the cleansing of sin by His blood. What has not been cleansed has not been transformed, and what has not been transformed is not righteous.
“Flee from idolatry,” says Paul.
Paul knew that the basis of our temptation was idolatry: the love and worship of things other than Christ. God knows what is hidden in our heart. He is kind toward us and knows how to lead us out of a trap if we will yield to Him.
We can become transfixed upon the desire and fall prey to it. We can fight and exhaust our own strength against it. Or we can humbly yield in desperate need for Jesus to save us and fill us with His Spirit.
God will set us free from the trap. He is both merciful and hopeful toward us in our temptations. He not only sees the weakness in our heart, but He sees in us the greater thing—a love for Jesus.
He will set in us the strength to stand against temptation and then transform that strength into a yielded love for Jesus. When we love Jesus more, the temptation dissolves in the light of the One who is Love.