Thursday, October 25, 2012

When a Temptation Comes to its Hour

One final Puritan devotional on the subject of temptation. Thought this was especially good. If you've ever been strongly tempted or have fought to defeat sin in your life, you will relate to this.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  1 Corinthians 16:13

How can we recognize when a temptation has come to its hour?  A temptation has come to its hour when it is restless, urgent, and arguing.  It is a time of battle, and sin will give the soul no rest.  Satan sees his advantage, the convergence of his forces, and knows that he must prevail, or be hopeless forever.  Satan pushes this opportunity and time of advantage with special pleas and promises. He has taken some ground in his arguments so far, and seeks to exert his ground further.  He reminds us of a full pardon after the sin.  He realizes that if he does not win now he will lose the opportunity.  When Satan had prepared all the events against Christ, it was the hour of darkness.  When a temptation presses in upon us through our imagination and reason, and when opportunities, solicitations, and advantages press us on the outside, we may know that the hour of its power has come.  A temptation has also come to its hour when it brings both fear and allurements together to work with greater force.  These came together in King David when he planned the murder of Uriah.  There was the fear of his sin being found out, and also the continued pleasure and enjoyment with Bathsheba.  Men sometimes are carried into sin just by the love of it, but they often continue in it because of the fear of the consequences that might appear by repentance and full disclosure.  Our Saviour teaches us the ways to prevent our entering into temptation, and there are two: ‘Watch’ and ‘Pray’.  To watch means to be on guard, to take heed, and to consider the ways the enemy might seek to approach us and entangle us in his baits and methods.  The second direction is to pray.  This important duty is known to all.  These two duties are the whole expression of faith to protect us from temptation.

From "Voices from the Past" Edited By Richard Rushing, page 95, published by Banner of Truth Trust

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