I have been reading Russell Moore’s new book Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ and came across a quote—a question—that had the rough spiritual effect of cracking me over the head with a 2 x 4. As you no doubt gleaned from the title, this is a book about temptation, the forms it may take in our life, and Christ’s triumph over it.
In the second chapter Moore writes about demonic powers and says that as far as temptation goes, you are being watched—you are always being watched. The spiritual powers out there have long experience observing humans and are very proficient at customizing a temptation plan that perfectly fits the way your desires work—your particular desires. You will be tempted in a different way than I will; I will be tempted in a different way than my wife will; She will be tempted in a different way than Jesus was.
So how do we know how we are being tempted? Here is one good way:
Imagine you could do anything, you could make it happen exactly as you wish, and could then go back and reverse time so that it had never happened—no consequences for your life, your work, your family, or Judgment Day. What would it be? Whatever comes to mind might be a pretty good insight into where it is your desires are being farmed.
And that is worth thinking about today (and every day). What would you do if you knew it could be entirely consequence-free? What sin would you commit? This may be where Satan and his host are trying to draw you even now.