Secret #1: Temptations are not passive but active and seek to seize and overtake you.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation ”
When you read this verse carefully, you will discover that it discusses temptations in your past, in your present, and finally in your future. The words “has overtaken you” focuses on your past experiences with temptations. The author wants us to know that every single temptation you have ever faced up to this point has achieved something very specific: The temptation has “overtaken you.”
Temptations are not neutral or passive, but are active. Note the verse states that a “temptation” overtakes you. To overtake means to catch up with in traveling or pursuing like a car on the freeway “overtakes” and passes you. Never forget that your temptations are after you on that freeway of life. Get off at the next exit and leave them behind!
Overtake is translated from the Greek word lambanowhich simply means to take, to lay hold of. You are not seeking to overtake yourself, but temptations are. Never forget this major difference:
Temptations are seeking to overtake you.
You are not seeking to tempt yourself.
Of interest, lambano is used to describe what occurred in the Upper Room at the Last Supper when Matthew 26:26 uses the term twice:
And as they were eating, Jesus bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “, eat; this is My body.”
Jesus reached over and took up the bread and then told the disciples to take it as well. In this case, Jesus did the action of taking ahold of the bread whereas in our passage, temptation takes ahold of “you.”
This clarifies everyone’s experience when seemingly out of the blue, you see something or think something and suddenly you feel a strong temptation to sin. Until that moment, you had no thought of sinning—the temptation actively overtook you and until you felt a desire that wasn’t of your own planning or intention.
In your mind, you must separate two very different elements: You and your Temptations. Why? You are not your temptations but rather you experience temptations. “Temptations” seek to overtake “you.” You are not equal to your temptations; temptations creep up on you until they overtake you. In your mind, then, never misunderstand this fact—temptations are not your friends. They aren’t passive. They aren’t neutral. They have a specific goal in mind: to entice you to sin.
Temptations actively pursue you with a very specific goal in mind, to arouse your desire for something or someone that God has ordained to be off limits for you. In the next chapter, you are going to learn an even more powerful temptation truth, learning the 3 secrets every single temptation uses to trap you. But for now, realize temptations are after you!
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