Lamar on Life

From a Christian living in a Gulf country. The Middle East, Arabic, understanding Muslims, outreach to Muslims are to be addressed. In addition, thoughts, reflections, and book reviews will be posted.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Number 6 - “The closer we get to Christ, the less we are tempted.”

Peter Lord, as you may have guessed, says that this one is also false. In considering this one, I can think of nothing definitive that the Bible says on the subject, but here, for what they are worth, are my observations.

It seems undeniable that sins can easily become habits which gain momentum and weight as they snowball. When you give Satan a foothold, he will continue to exploit it as best he can. So the opposite corollary does seem to be true. That is, the farther we get from God, the more we sin. But then again, that is not really the exact opposite, is it? Because being tempted more and sinning more are NOT the same. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the more we sin, the farther we get from God and the harder it is to resist temptation or to repent. But does this bear any relation to whether the proposition above is true or false?

It also seems that mature Christians do NOT escape from temptation. Again we remember that Jesus was severely tempted in all ways. The types of temptations may change through the years, but it seems that God’s plan of faith-building in His children includes having us face and overcome temptations of various sorts as Christ did. We follow in His steps in this.

On the opposite end, I have known those far from God who seem to live a “good life” almost effortlessly. In fact, I have known non-believers who never seem tempted at all to commit sins that are much too common within the Church. It could be that Satan is satisfied that he has these people well in hand and so has no desire to bring about in them an awareness of the actual extent of their sinfulness. One formerly Muslim young man whom I know well related how almost immediately after coming to faith in Christ, he began to struggle with temptation to despair and with compulsive thoughts of suicide. These kinds of temptations had been completely unknown to him until after he became a follower of Jesus.

Peter Lord says, “Temptation is one of the proofs that we are Christians! Keep this close to you. You are as close to Jesus as you can be. As the years progress you may feel you can understand His heart better, but you are IN Him and He is IN you, and that is as close as anyone can ever get.”

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