You ask, "How long will this temptation last?" Sometimes the Enemy's attack is short-term, other times it is long-term. Paul had a "thorn" in his flesh, one that wouldn't go away. Why did he have it? Pride! "Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me" (v. 7 NKJV). Paul spoke five languages and wrote half the New Testament. With credentials like that it's easy to become arrogant. Finally he stopped praying for an exit strategy and began to understand God's purpose: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (v. 9 NKJV). Pride is one of the most neglected subjects in church today. Perhaps that's due to the fact that we receive our teaching from people who struggle with it themselves. Pride doesn't necessarily show on your face, but when you're under pressure it surfaces in your actions and attitudes. Pride originated with Satan: "I will make myself like the Most High" (Isa 14:14 NIV). Often the core of atheism is pride; a person with no God, plays God. Satan used this strategy in Eden. "God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God" (Ge 3:5 NKJV). That's why Paul told the Philippians, "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God...he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave...Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor" (Php 2:5-9 NLT). The key to overcoming temptation is submitting to God and living in daily dependence on Him.
Published on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 @ 12:59 PM CDT