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Temptation

By W.B. Dunkum


      Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." Jas. 1:12.

      A subject of very great significance and of tremendous importance to every Bible Christian. This is a subject about which we should have practical knowledge and wholesome information. Temptation according to Mr. Webster "Is an enticement to evil." The word temptation has two meanings: First a solicitation to sin. Second a trial as a result of providential situation or circumstances. While a temptation is not a sin but merely a solicitation to do wrong or to sin. God's chief purpose in our temptation is that we develop character and come under discipline. A temptation is a great educational process to help develop us to get more out of this life and enjoy more of heaven hereafter. If we miss this development and training we lack both here and hereafter.

      Time is probationary and as long as we are in time we are on probation and as long as we are on probation there is a possibility of backsliding. The evidence we are on probation is that we are being tried continually. We meet almost every day with sufficient obstacles to turn us from the fight, unless we have a fixed purpose to do right and keep on hands a good supply of grace. Probation implies as to our future happiness or misery that we may be compelled to under go misery and sacrifice happiness here to escape future misery and enjoy eternal happiness hereafter. Probation does subject us to temptation, its very nature is such, while temptations develop character and prepare us to enjoy more of eternal felicity hereafter. In order that temptation may be a test it is necessary to have in us the power of choice, to help us to go wrong or do fight. Yet because of the fall we go through life laboring under the disadvantage of a limited mentality, weak body and poor judgment. Satan being a wise adversary will take advantage of us every where we are limited if allowed. Hence, "Watch and pray." Blessed is the man who can stand, not question God and hold his equilibrium in the hour of temptation which shall come upon all men who dwell upon the earth. For there is no man whom Satan does not tempt and God does not try. A reward is offered those who can stand without repining and kicking back. James states very clearly that everyman in this life is on probation or on trial and is a candidate for another that is a better world, now if we stand uncompromisingly for right, for truth, for the blood, for God and for full salvation herethe reward is a crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

      History of Temptation
      I A suggestion--from the enemy.
      II A delight--from ourselves.
      III A consent--from ourselves.

      Methods of Temptation
      1. He gets your attention.
      2. He arouses your desire to seek satisfaction through some wrong method or in some unscriptural way.
      3. He influences you to act on spur of the moment without time to seriously and religiously reflect. It is vital and of fundamental importance that we know when to say "no" and when to resist because of wrong. If we fail here we lose out in the battle of life and fail to win a crown to wear hereafter.

      1. Satan is always a hindrance to one whose aspirations are high and whose ambitions are to do right. He gets on your track when ever you start out to do right. He attacks the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlearned. He makes no exceptions and shows no favors.

      2. He assails the most eminent worker in your church. Yes, he seems to have it in for the most gifted and talented preachers of your denomination. And all of us from the least to the greatest had better be on the watch out.

      3. He will take advantage of you if allowed to. You are hindered more easily than you are helped, He is a being of great power and intelligence. And from the Fall of Man has been in the wrecking business. I believe in a personal devil and every thing that goes with it to make him dangerous. Some one said they thought he was chained. If so he is chained with a mighty long chain. You can't get out of his reach if you were to try. It has been my privilege to travel and preach in twenty seven states and Canada. But I have never gone into a city, town or community but what I find him transacting business with open shop both day and night.

      4. He delights to work through you to destroy the plan of God. We are on the battle ground of the ages, and every one of us will come from the battle ground sooner or later defeated or with victory. Let every Christian bear in mind that you will not reach heaven without temptations, conflicts and battles. Every inch of ground from conviction to glorification is contested by the enemy. He will use every available means to side track you and destroy your faith. We are soldiers and you may expect fighting. We represent a life which is a warfare. We may expect the enemy to oppose everything that is good, and everything that he opposes we will stand uncompromisingly for, It is a fatal thing to play with temptation. There is a time in which we can overcome, then get busy for if you do not overcome the tempter he will shortly overcome you. When a desire appears for the wrong, crush it at once, if not it will soon crush you. Avoid the very appearance of evil. You may not always avoid temptation but you can avoid yielding. Every time you resist will make you stronger. The power of God and faith in the blood will prove sufficient for every temptation. Others will fail in their own strength but He will not fail you. Look up! Keep your head above the clouds there is victory all along the line.

      5. The closer you live to God the more temptations you will have. Many start and go down under temptation, not having a clear conception of the enemy and how to meet him. A very few people will turn God down deliberately, willfully and premeditatedly. But most people who follow the business of backsliding give up under trial and temptation. "That the trial of your faith being more precious than of gold." I Pet. 1.7. Genuine faith is proven by adversities, especially such as our forefathers passed through. Gold is of such a nature that only fire can try it, how much more does your faith as you build for eternity need fiery trials; "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you." I Pet. 4:12. Peter exhorts to patience and integrity while under persecution, and said it was not an unusual thing for Christians to be persecuted, but if we are persecuted for Christ here we could reign with Him hereafter.

      Adam's temptation was disastrous, in that it brought sin and death upon the world. Jesus was triumphant in His temptation bringing life and peace. There are many kinds of temptations, and Satan tries along different lines, also he uses many agencies. When he fails to get your attention along one line, he will try through another avenue. At times he may put his big wing over your entire life endeavoring to crush out all spirituality. Then your only hope is the blood. It costs as much to keep right as it does to get right. God will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear but with the temptation will make a way of escape. Jesus proved to us that standing is possible under the severest trial and test. Because He stood in the crucial hour He will give you grace. His grace is sufficient in spite of your weaknesses and shortcomings, trials and discouragements. Have your mind made up and an extra supply of grace on hands and you can find a way out when humanly speaking there is no way.

      Satan is the chief agent in temptation. Esau was tempted and yielded, hence sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. He sold out rather cheaply but many a church member today has sold out cheaper than Esau. Let no one get the idea that when you get saved the battle of life is over and you are going to heaven on flowery beds of ease. There are battles, struggles, and severe temptations. You will have a stiff battle all along the way if you make it through to the skies. "Surely I must fight if I shall reign." Satan will use every available resource to make you either a fanatic or a formalist. But you can keep under the blood and in the middle of the King's Highway. Resist temptation and build Christian character that will stand when the world is on fire. People sometimes say Satan has tried me in every conceivable way and I understand his workings and he will never get me again, And about that time he will come at you when least expecting him and at an unexpected point. If you have a weak point or sore spot and don't know where it is, Satan will find it for you. But you can come through the battle victoriously stronger and better prepared for the next battle. Many do not have a clear conception of trial and will go down under temptation in an unguarded moment. They had never planned to backslide but backslid because they had not made proper plans to keep from it. And from the battle ground of life you will come a defeated soul or a victor.

      See that popular minister, he was powerfully sanctified while attending a Holiness college. He went out with a good experience to help lead the lost to Christ, But as he grew in influence and desired to enter larger fields of activity, the temptation was to lower the flag and he did. Today he is like a bird with a broken wing. He reminds one of a beautiful ship leaving harbor with sail flying high but soon entered the ice fields, to be crushed and was heard of no more.

      Appetite is an open channel for both eating and drinking and sad because many are caught and yield at this point. Daniel was a marvelous example and would not defile himself with the King's meat. It is our duty as Christians to learn early in life how to resist temptation. As temptation shows a difference in one who has a religious experience and one who has a religious memory of the past. If it is your wish to live and die without trials you may die when but half a man. You cannot learn to swim without going into deep water.
      Satan approached Eve through the physical and the mental. It is perfectly legitimate to have a desire for knowledge and hunger for food. But all appetites must be regulated and held in subjection to God and His will.

      Satan approached Jesus through the avenue of desire and reminded Him of the fact that He was hungry. We see Satan working along many lines, through many avenues. All temptations have with them the element of desire. Desires are not necessarily sinful in and of themselves. Satan aims to satisfy with unlawful means and illegitimate methods. A desire for right is God given and constitutional but when our desires are warped by sin then look out.

      The temptation for the young lady and young men of our day is to be popular and broadminded enough to go all the gates, such as: drink beer and strong drink, smoke cigarettes, play cards and keep late hours. But what can we expect the future to hold in store for a generation of that type? Will they preserve the integrity of our republic? Will they look conscientiously after the doctrines and experiences of our holy Christianity? Will they go forward with a progressive civilization? Yet you who think sanely are bound to answer me in the negative. But one says, "Do you think the enemy will get our boys and girls, who are brought up in the church, Sunday School, and young people's society?" Yes, he already has a multitude of them under his control and he has traps, snares and pitfalls set to catch the rest of them unless they are wise enough to keep out of the danger zone.

      After Jesus was tempted angels came and ministered unto Him. Do we ever have angels to minister to us? His temptation was like ours. "He was tempted in all points like as we are and yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. He was assailed by temptation of every kind yet in no case did He yield to their influence. When He was tried and tempted He did not sin, so let us follow Him as our example. "For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted." Heb. 2:18. The apostle argues that it was necessary that Jesus Christ should partake of human nature and be so exposed to trials and persecutions and various sufferings that He might better feel for us and be able to succour those who are afflicted and sorely tried. His temptations were like ours. He passed through all of His temptation for our sake and can and does sympathize with us. He showed the difference between temptation and sin and demonstrated the fact that we should not and do not have to yield. Temptations most always follow great blessings. When your temptations are many and fierce God is preparing something special for you around the corner. Great blessings prepare us for great conflicts, and it will be a great conflict until we enter the gates of Pearl and are privileged to walk the streets of gold. The only weapon our Savior ever used was the scriptures. And this weapon is in reach of every one who endeavors to live godly and represent vital Christianity.

      Jesus fasted and was hungry. This shows He was both human and divine. Satan knows where your weak points are and that is the very place he is going to approach you.

      Illustration--You attend church all day on Sunday and it is generally known as a great day. You put much into the service and of course in return you get an abundance of spiritual help. It is a day of salvation and victory. You forgot Satan was still on the battle field and as active as ever. You are almost walking in the air. Such waves of victory, such times of ecstasy and such feasting with the Lord, The Lord was preparing you for a hard time on Monday. So on Monday morning before breakfast Satan puts in his appearance. If not careful, thoughtful and prayerful before you can have morning worship, or get water warm enough to wash, or get your washing on the line, you will lose all ground gained on Sunday. What a pity! Watch and pray lest you yield to the tempter inan unguarded moment. Or suppose you were at the altar and got saved, reclaimed or sanctified when the tide was high, now we have come back to normal life and Satan admitted you received the experience on Sunday. But now you don't feel as you did on Sunday, hence you have lost the experience. Here you will find a temptation to doubt what God has done whenever you take time to reason with Satan. Don't argue or reason with him, he is a profound thinker, and can move the multitudes with thought and logic. So our only hope is to live moment by moment where we know the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin, and always keep and give a clear and definite testimony. "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." Rev.12:11.

      1. Holiness does not exempt you from temptation but qualifies for temptation. Satan is the accuser of the brethren, we need to understand his devices and accusations. When the Lord saves and sanctifies He does not kill Satan. You will not only find him active and alive but much alive and doing business at the same old stand.
      From the fact he tempted Jesus we have no hope of an escape. If any difference he will tempt the sanctified more than the justified. However a sanctified person has more grace and can endure more temptation.
      2. Look to God for grace to stand regardless of your weaknesses. "My grace is sufficient for thee." "In weakness strength is made perfect." "He takes the weakest to confound the mighty."
      3. You need a clear mind and fixed purpose. Make up your mind you are going through. If you stumble and fall get up and try it again.
      4. Avoid places of a questionable nature. If only a tinge of evil attached, stay away.
      5. Temptations will weaken and wreck you or make you stronger and help establish you.
      6. Hold on to God by the handle of faith in the hour of trial and severest temptation.
      If you become courteous to the enemy and give him an inch he will take a yard, if you give him a yard he will take a mile.

      How to Overcome
      1. Live daily in possession of a pure heart.
      2. Keep on the whole armor of God.
      3. Keep on the victory side.
      4. Give no place to the devil. Tell him you have company. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
      5. Overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the words of your testimony.

      Always bear in mind temptations are vitally necessary in character building, if you are to build character that will glorify God and prepare you for proper citizenship in this world and the world to come. "Reckon that the sufferings of this present world is not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18.
      If we submit joyfully to His suffering here, our pay day will come hereafter when we will be glorified together. After due consideration you will find no comparison between our suffering here and the glory He gives here; not taking in consideration the glory which shall be revealed hereafter.

      Principles of the overcoming life
      1. Life, we live in the world.
      2. Life of faith.
      3. Life of prayer.
      4. Life of obedience.
      5. Life of service.
      6. Life of true heart worship.
      7. Life of victory.

      How to meet temptations
      1. Avoid occasions of temptation.
      2. Do not run into temptations.
      3. Some can be avoided.
      4. Some cannot be avoided.
      5. Watch every avenue of approach.
      6. Pray for way of escape.
      7. Pray for strength to overcome.

      Watch as all depended on watching. Pray as all depended on praying. Trust the blood as though all depended on trusting the blood. Remember "no temptation hath taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it. I Cor.10:13.

      "In the world ye shall have tribulation." John 16:33. Tribulation means thrashing. A religious thrashing may be good for you spiritually. Hold steady and let Him give you a good one while He is at it.

      1. He has a good purpose in the thrashing.
      (a) To loose you from the world.
      (b) To sever you from the chaff.
      (c) To fit you for better service.

      2. God's method of sending it.
      (a) He acts as a father.
      (b) He acts according to our need.
      (c)He acts according to our strength.

      3. We need it.
      (a) To separate us from the ungodly.
      (b) To refuse to be bought off with temporal blessings.
      (c) To give properly and systematically to His work.
      (d) To forsake not the laws of God.

      Illustration--An acorn is not an oak tree when merely sprouted. But after it comes up it must go through long summers and fierce winters. It requires cold weather as well as hot, there must be frosts, freezes and thaws and if it can stand the test along the way it will become an oak tree in the tomorrows of someone's life. Temptations should drive you to a closer walk with God and cause you to realize your dependence upon Him in a very special way. Soldiers do their very best fighting when facing the enemy. He allows temptations to come to make us good soldiers of the cross that we may more conscientiously follow the Lamb.

      The temptation of Christ has three stages. Also you will find three factors involved in temptation. God--Man--Satan.

      1. If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread. Jesus said, "It is written that man shall not live by bread alone." As universal as temptations are we often go into them alone unless we are thoughtful enough to take Jesus with us. Temptations being a part of the divine program of man we should never enter one without Jesus by our side. He appealed to the ambitions of Jesus. The temptation to change the stone into bread by a miracle was an appeal to Christ to step from His divinely appointed path for sake of satisfying His hunger. But He was resigned to duty only and trusted God for sustenance. Had He obeyed He would have become unlike man who must put His trust in Divine Providence. He being our example did not yield, therefore we should follow in His steps.

      2. He took Him to the pinnacle of the temple. Satan said, prove your divinity. If you are the Son of God angels will catch you. Jesus said, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." His second temptation was to prove His sonship and exhibit His faith. His sonship had been proven and His faith tried. This was a temptation of presumption. Satan here tried to get Him to step from the path of divine opportunity and plunge into a needless and useless act. Beware lest you turn from the path of duty, to fanatical ideas, erroneous heresy and a conglomeration of nonsense namely the third blessing known as the modern tongue movement.

      3. His third temptation was to win power. Seemed as if Satan wanted to help Him become King of the World. He presents a fascinating picture. He asked that Jesus bow down before him. While Jesus loved the world and wanted to see humanity saved, He did not take the path of least resistance but the path that led to Calvary, the lonely and the weary way all for you and me. He took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said all of them will I give you if you will fall down and worship me. Satan was not even truthful for he could not give away all the Kingdoms of the World for they did not belong to him. (How could you giveaway something that did not belong to you). Jesus said, "Get thee behind Me, Satan, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve." Then came joy and peace as angels came and ministered unto Him. The battle may be intensely hard but you will feel mighty good when fought to a finish on your knees and you have won a victory for Jesus. The devil only and always questions what he knows to be true. And the nearer you get to the Lord the harder Satan will work to destroy your faith, blast your hopes and blight your confidence. But to go through with God in these days of falling away and apostasy it will require all the manhood, womanhood, back-bone, grit and all the grace you can get. But if you purpose in your heart to do so you can keep the devil on the run and you can make it through to the union depot of the skies on schedule time.

      The three forms of temptation which Christ endured and over which He triumphed are the same in substance to which all men are exposed. They are coveteousness, pride and ambition. They always come through three sources: Through our want, through spiritual delusion and through worldly prospects. Jesus was our example as to imitation. He used the Christian sword and said, "It is written." One of the best protections you can have is a knowledge of the Bible. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee." Psa. 119:11.

      We have no right to God's promises and are unable to claim them as our own when we are on Satan's territory and carrying out his suggestions. His promises will hold good when you meet danger in the pathway of duty. Where God sends you He will protect you but if not sent by the Lord you may be disappointed and lack protection. Knowing our weakness as He does He taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation." Let us not become puffed up and think we can stand where others fall. Satan is never more outrageous than when he makes certain promises to us telling us what he will give. All he has to give is pride, vain show, guilt, suffering, despair and death. The temptation which may seem plausible to you at first after an examination you will find it to contain nothing but a deadly sting. All of Satan's promises contain within them a germ of their own destruction. Temptations are not an uncommon experience, we are made alike, hence quite a similarity in our temptations. If you are in God's will and running according to His time-table He can make a way where seemingly there is no way.
      All temptations are under the restraint of God. As in the case of Job. Satan can only come into certain reach and that by permission from God.
      Our loving Heavenly Father is well acquainted with all of Satan's assaults and designs. Satan seems to seek and obtain permission before he assails. In any case, no temptation befalls us greater than our power to combat and overcome. Jesus only allows us to be tempted, that we may learn to avail ourselves of God's resources of Which otherwise we may know nothing about.
      Satan can be conquered and overcome. "Watch and pray." Be careful, thoughtful, considerate and prayerful in your selections, habits, words and deeds. Always abide in Him. Mingle much with the very best Christians. Feed much upon the word that you may be strong in Him. Keep on the whole armor of God. When Satan advances resist him. Be steadfast in the faith. Expect the Lord to keep a wall of protection around you and always stand between you and danger. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Go into every battle expecting success. Have victory purchased upon your banner. Let our battle cry be, "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamband the words of their testimony."

      Is it any comfort to you while in the midst of the battle to realize while doing hard fighting, while blood stained and dusty that He is by your side to assist you in every battle and if allowed to will fight your battles for you. You may be tempted to thoughts of evil and evil thoughts, yes, even wicked thoughts. But don't forget to sing, "Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin." Temptation is not a calamity in any period of life or to any type of Christian character. It is just discipline, that is all, or in other words a tribulation through which we are to pass to develop in us the very best possible.

      Read if you please the lives of Bible heroes and the biographies of great men and you will see they all had to fight their way through until they exchanged the cross for the crown. Jesus Christ the best man ever lived was fiercely tempted upon the Mount and this was not His only temptation as He was frequently meeting evil and heard to say, "not my will but Thine be done, "until His triumphant victory. We can think of Christ being tempted on other occasions and in other ways however the temptation through which He passed immediately after His baptism and before He entered upon His public ministry was an event of great importance and is regarded preeminently as His temptation. Let us remember that a temptation does not necessarily imply asinful nature on the part of the one being tempted. The first man Adam though created in the image and likeness of God was tempted and fell into sin. Adam had perfect surroundings but he fell. God could have made us with strong Christian character all at once, but we would not be adjusted to circumstances and not be able to confront the issues of life. Habits establish either a virtuous or vicious character. A man without any experience with the world could not be adjusted to the world. We need moral discipline to get us adjusted to things and conditions. By experience and observation is the only method for us to obtain this adjustment. Our happiness depends upon the depth of our discipline and improvement.

      If we are highly developed in Christian character we can surmount circumstances. Our first acts and habits in this life determine our future to a great extent. After the ice is broken we can more easily follow whether it leads to virtue or vice. Therefore observation and experience brings about this experience and discipline gradually is best for us. Christ was without sin. His temptation was wholly from without. But as long as we have the principle of sin on hands our temptation will come both from without and within, But with sanctifying grace your temptations come from without only. So get Him on the inside and with sanctifying grace you can defeat every foe, slay every giant, and have complete victory every step of the way.

      Your Adversary
      The devil is your adversary, enemy and foe. His first appearance was as an enemy. He saw God's beautiful creation, hated it, and longed to fill it with sin. His work in the garden was to drag down and ruin and he has been at it ever since. We should be careful to distinguish between our adversary the devil and demons. There is a multiplicity of demons but only one Satan and he is chief or ruler over all demons and they come and go at his request. While their headquarters is in hell yet they do not stay at headquarters. They are busy in the world going here and there at the command of Satan their leader. Some people don't believe in devils now as our fathers use to do but they are doing the kind of work the devil use to do, some claim the devil has been fairly voted out, of course then he must be gone, but the mystery to me then is whom he left behind to carry his business on. Truly Satan works through human instrumentality.

      1. He works through bad men.
      2. He works through seemingly the harmless.
      3. He works through friends, and incapable leaders and advisors.

      Satan works through demons, and demons through bad men, good men, sinners, Christians, church members and even ministers of the gospel, and any avenue which becomes an open channel for them to work through.

      I. The devil is a powerful adversary. Not wise to joke about him, he is a living reality. Satan is a powerful foe, not as powerful as God yet he is limited in His power by God, He is wise, shrewd, intelligent and tricky. He goes about seeking whom he may devour. He can quote Scripture but seldom ever quotes it correctly. He can transform himself into an angel of light and if allowed to will deceive the very elect.

      1. He is powerful in himself. The scriptures tell us he was once an archangel of heaven but rebelled and through pride was cast out. He still retains much power, while he is our powerful foe yet he is our defeated foe.
      2. He is powerful through wicked spirits. He is commander-in-chief and a multiplicity of demons will act under his directions.
      3. He is powerful through wicked men. They are up late and get up early and more energetic than most church members. He never has to take a vacation, but is always at it, and works continually at it to bring about our destruction.

      II. A skillful adversary. As the Holy Spirit will lead good men evil spirit will lead bad men. Thousands of years of experience in this line of business makes him a scientific expert. He knows our weakest point. He knows how to kill by the car load and sink steamers.

      III. An untiring adversary. Begins with the child and will follow you to your grave. It can properly be said of him, he is on the war path, morning noon, and night.

      IV. A merciless adversary. He hates God and His work and would destroy both if he could, but he can't destroy God so he is trying to destroy His work. When allowed to hold the reins on the inside he is very exact and quite proficient. But give him a little time for his plans to materialize and all you will have left is a war department. With six thousand years of experience he knows exactly what kind of bait to put on his hook and he catches men and women by the multitudes.

      V. Your adversary. Unless you watch and pray he will catch and devour you by the way. Possibly he has you by the throat and you have never discovered the fact. Oh! the lion of lust, pride, drink, appetite, infidelity, skepticism, evolution and modernism. All you behold is that glittering bait, you do not realize there is a cruel hook, sooner or later he will have you captive at his will. Some already have his hook in their jaw and he leads them around at his own pleasure. If you are under his control call mightily upon God for deliverance.

      Now it is no sin to be tempted providing you do not yield. The poet says, "Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin." If you overcome the tempter you will be that much stronger for the next battle. Tests will try your faith, courage and endurance. Do not let temptations discourage you. At times they come thick and fast. But Jesus was tempted and there are hopes for us. As He did not escape we should not expect exemption. Mr. Wesley said, "You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building nests in your hair." Temptations may come and trials too while hellish darts are hurled, but Jesus can save and keep in spite of all the world.

      There are two forms of temptations.
      1. The temptations coming direct from Satan.
      2. Is when you boldly and willfully walk in yourself. Temptations are a part of the divinely arranged program. One said, Satan tempts everybody but a lazy man and he was of the opinion that a lazy man was a temptation to the devil. "Let no man say when he is tempted I am tempted of God for God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth He any man." "Christ was tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin." You may try and shut yourself in from the world but they will find you sooner or later. Fasting and praying will not keep temptations away but you can get grace and strength thereby which will help you to stand when Satan marshals his forces against you.

      We are sailing on the sea of life and at times it is rather stormy. There are dangers ahead. These are dangerous days and stormy times through which we are passing and many are caused to wonder if the ship of Zion will make the trip safely or be wrecked upon the shore of modernism. But we can say with the poet, "She has landed many thousand and can land as many more." So when trouble overtakes you and Satan tries to corner you in, there is always a way out and generally you will find it by way of the Throne. Remember Satan would not be after you if he had you under his control. If you are alive and active and working for souls Satan will fight and oppose you until you have crossed the last ditch, He is after the live or crippled duck and is not bothered about the dead one.

      So let us hold on by prayer and faith until we are conscious of the very presence of the eternal Godhead. You will find under His wing a safe dwelling place. His mighty arm is strong and all powerful. Prayer will hold you steady when all around seems to give way. Prayer will drive away every cloud. Prayer will give strength and courage and become an anchor of the soul. He will become your present helper in the darkest hour and in the day of need. As war clouds seem to be gathering in the horizon and the outlook is not very bright but the up look is as bright as the promises of God. When the battle between righteousness and unrighteousness has been fought to a finish and the smoke from the battlefield has cleared away, we shall be sons and daughters, yes, kings and priests and shall wear a victor's crown. May you one and all make your way to heaven and God grant that you may arrive there safely.

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