Temptation is a common human experience and it comes in various forms. It is the enticement to do something we ought not to do. The persuasion often comes from the evil desire of the sinful nature in humankind which is often in war with the Holy Spirit. Of all the various forms of temptations, I think the biggest giant that overshadows a Christian’s life is lust and unhealthy and unrestrained sexual desires.
Any man or woman who claims that he/she had never had a lustful or unhealthy desire towards another human is a big lier. Desire is one of the God-given aspects of a human’s personality and life itself would be quite dull without it. But when we become slaves to desire that’s when we have a problem.
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with sexualized images in our papers, magazines and most prominently the internet. It is very easy to gain access to pornography on the internet these days. A lot of harm has been caused not just to adult relationships but also to teenagers by the easy access to internet pornography.
Although their isn’t exactly a table that shows which sin is the greatest but an unrestrained sexual desire could lead to greater sins. A very good example is King David. David’s unrestrained sexual desire for Bathsheba made him to commit murder and this also led to a great punishment by God (II Samuel Chapter 11 & 12). Sadly it’s not uncommon to hear or read about Church leaders and other prominent people in the society who have derailed not only their lives but also the lives of those around them because they allowed their unhealthy sexual desires to control them.
Our God is a merciful God and he always provides an escape route from temptation. God sometimes allows Christians to be tested in their spiritual journeys but these tests are not meant to cause them to fall into sin because God always provides a way to overcome it. Even Christ was tempted by the devil.
The most important thing to be careful about when facing any form of temptation is over-confidence. Self-confidence has always been the problem of man, especially amongst seemingly mature believers. No one is immune to sexual temptation or any other form of temptation. You’re not and I am also not. Even the most pious of us may not be able to resist sexual temptations.
Christians can overcome temptations through the power of the Holy Spirit but how can you do this if the Holy Spirit is not dwelling in you. Any Christian who isn’t familiar with the words of God will also find it had to resist falling into temptation. Like they always say “prayer is the masterkey”; a prayerless Christian will also find it hard to overcome temptation. To be tempted is not a sin but temptation becomes a sin when we yield to it. We must all be careful not to see ourselves as being above temptation. Pride goes before a fall.