The Process of Temptation


Read | 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Many people act as if there’s no defense against temptation. At the first hint of desire, they throw their hands up and give in. What they fail to recognize is that enticement is a process, and processes can be short-circuited at any stage.

Temptation usually begins in the mind, where we live out an active fantasy life. By this, I mean that the human mind has the capacity to create entire conversations and experiences out of nothing. Through fantasy, we can enjoy something without ever bringing it into the real world. And people often think that since it isn’t real, it’s harmless. This is simply not true.

The world of imagination can lead to a downward spiral of enslavement. Over time, fantasy becomes boring, and one feels a need for more gratifying fulfillment. Ultimately, our thoughts are so wrapped around the one temptation that it seems impossible to think of anything else. When that happens, our mind is held captive by the desire. And whenever our life becomes intently focused on anything other than God, we are trapped.

Because the process of temptation starts with our thinking, it can be difficult to escape. No matter where we go or what we do, we’ll never be able to outrun our own mind. We can, however, disrupt the process by filling our head with God’s Word. As we continually feed our imagination a hearty diet of Scripture, the Word will go to work against the tempting fantasy. The Bible is powerful—trust it to set you free from the pressure of temptation.