Temptations and Tests
Temptations and tests often look so much alike, we can hardly tell the difference, but they are different. A test comes from the Lord. A temptation comes from the devil. Temptations come in three categories according to 1 John 2:16: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The purpose of a temptations is not so you will fail, but rather so you will settle. If you choose your temptation to satisfy your need, then you will have to stop there until you overcome it. Tempted people are still blessed by the Lord, but they cannot move forward. A great example of this is the Children of Israel in the wilderness. They came under the blood in the exodus, representing salvation. They came through the Red Sea, representing water baptism. They are now led by the Spirit in the wilderness. They see a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They are protected by an angel and they eat miracle manna, every day. Yet, they wander in circles because they could not overcome their temptations to doubt God. They continually fall into sexual immorality, idolatry, doubt and fear. They are still blessed, but they can’t move forward. Giving in to their temptations caused them to get stuck in the process. When God tests us, it is for one reason only; to see if we can handle “more.” You will take the same test over and over until you pass it. You must pass it because God wants to give you more blessings, more resources, more favor, more of everything. God’s favor will multiply everything around us, so we must be able to overcome temptations and tests in order to walk in “more.” We must change our strategy when we are tempted. Instead of giving in, we must put a sword in our mouth and start speaking a scripture over the temptation, as Jesus modeled when He was tempted. James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.