When the word 'temptation' comes to mind, what do you think about? For many, images of decadent desserts appear, with their chocolate icing or heavy vanilla cream practically begging you to indulge in them. For many, giving in to temptation is to commit a sin that you actually enjoy doing, and then when you reflect after the deed is done, you realize you did wrong and feel guilted into asking for forgiveness.
Yes, temptation can be as obvious as a triple decker chocolate truffle mouse cake. But temptation can also sneak up on you; temptation can manifest itself into the desire to talk about others. Temptation can manifest itself into negative thinking about self and others. Temptation can manifest itself into doing what is right for you and only you.
Temptation can manifest itself into anything and everything because the Devil himself is looking for any and every foothold to snag you and drag you down.
This is pretty depressing, isn't it? What are we poor sinners to do if the Devil is attempting to know each and every one of us so intimately just so he can bring us down into his pit of self-loathing and unforgivable acts and deeds?
We poor sinners need to remember in any and every time of temptation that the Devil is simply attempting to know us intimately, and that our Father is the one who actually knows us intimately; he knows our soul and thoughts and deed better than we know them ourselves because he is the source of our life and creation. Isn't it intensely wonderful that the Lord our God, through his Son Jesus, has experienced every temptation we have and will ever face, and yet he never sinned?
Jesus experienced every decadent dessert, every negative thought, every destructive habit and act, every physical desire and urge- and yet he never sinned. He relied on the strength and word of God to aid him, guide him, and help him resist temptation.
And we can do the exact same thing as well. We simply need to be mindful of when temptation comes our way, and then ask God for the courage and strength to resist the desire to give in to temptation.
Temptation is never going to disappear, but neither will God. He is always and forever with us, and that is truly something to celebrate.