This is not about the 60's Motown Musical artists but instead about temptations we face each and every day in our daily lives. Many temptations abound and they are thrown in our path by the enemy to get us off course.This is not necessarily about being tempted by chocolate or food but many deeper things than that. Although gluttony is listed as wrong in the Bible there are some other temptations that have more severe consequences.
Some of these include the temptation to lie. Not saving sex for marriage is a tremendous temptation for many. Wanting to cheat on tests is also not up there on good things to do list. Giving false information or incomplete information on tax forms is one you often hear of that can send you to jail. Speeding in your car is a temptation for many which can cause vehicle accidents and tickets. For some there may be a temptation to steal which too can land you with some time incarcerated in your local 'gray bar motel'. As mentioned previously the temptation in eating too much especially if you know you need to lose weight. Alcohol is not necessarily a sin but drinking alcohol to excess can make you end up doing things you regret(See Proverbs 23:31-35). It is best to not touch alcohol at all if you can resist it. You will save a ton of money and heartaches as well. There are those people who want to stop smoking and tobacco tempts them. The temptation to tell someone off has to be kept under control. To idly sit and watch immoral things on TV or in the movies may be tempting because the ads make it look attractive. We know is not good for us so we have to resist the temptation and choose to turn off the TV or not go to a particular movie. Even just sitting around watching television where people talk about their lives does not really add anything to your life. It can be a temptation for some to give up these daytime shows and movie star magazines. The reading material we choose that tears down instead of building up can tempt some as well. Many today are addicted to pornography and even some within the church. This can be porn on the Internet, TV, or magazines. You have to run from this sin which so easily destroys the mind and can hurt relationships as well. For many men there is a temptation to go to what the south calls 'Gentlemans' Clubs' otherwise known as strip clubs. We all know this is not a wise thing to do at all. Matthew 5:28 says "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Nowadays there are even 'gay clubs' which enters into a whole new realm of temptations. The Bible says in the book of Leviticus that a "man should not lie with another man". (See Leviticus 18:22).
Those were just some of the ways people can be tempted. You may be able to add to the list. But let's go over some Bible verses now that deal with temptations. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says " No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure." James 1:14 says "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away." So those 'evil desires' have to be controlled and that is where the fruit of the spirit of 'self control' comes in handy. You can not do everything you feel like doing in life or you will get yourself into major trouble. Some of the temptations that lead us off God's path can cause not just spiritual problems but emotional and psychological problems as well and sometimes medical problems in the case of a possible pregnancy from premarital sex or a sexually transmitted disease as well. Just cause you 'feel' like doing something does not mean you have to do it. Control yourself. If you can't, ask God for His help and direction.
Remember Jesus was led into the wilderness by the devil and tempted but never succumbed to sin. Matthew 4:1 says "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil."
Temptations come when our evil or wrong desires lead us off the path God has set before us. Sometimes you might have to verbally say out loud "Get thee behind me Satan" when you start to feel yourself slipping into temptations. James 1:13 says "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone." You are responsible for your own actions. You can control yourself. It is possible. You first have to know what is right and what is wrong and that is found in the pages of God's word the Bible. You can not erase the things in the Bible you do not like. You will give account for the things in your life you have done wrong.
We all have things that have led us down the wrong path. The thing is we do not want to continue down that path. Change friends if you have to. Stay away from places you know you have hard time resisting. Ask yourself if God were with you would he be pleased by your behavior.
To help you as you seek to walk a walk pleasing of the Lord keep in mind this verse in Galatians 5:22-23 which says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." There are those words again, self control. Basically stop yourself from doing wrong before the bad stuff has happened. James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Ephesians 4:7 says "and do not give the devil a foothold." Just remember what 1 Peter 5:8 says "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Get that self control in full gear.
Start today and walk a walk pleasing to the Lord asking Him to give you the ability to stay on the path of righteousness and away from those things that tempt you to do wrong.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven I thank you for the things I have learned in the course of my life that have kept me running the good race. Temptations are all around so give me the ability to do what is right and good in your eyes. In Jesus Name. Amen.