From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Temptation is very powerful, but the indwelling Holy Spirit gives Christians strength to resist it. We’re in spiritual warfare. Our enemies have more skill to tempt us than we’ve ever encountered before. Many new believers make a big mistake thinking that after they’re saved, they’ll become perfect and live on a continual high. Instead, conflict comes and at times, they yield to temptation. If we obey Christ, He will use these experiences to help deepen our faith and show us how fragile we are when we depend on our own strength.
An old allegory illustrates this well. Satan called together a council of his servants to consult how they might make a good man sin. One evil spirit said, “I’ll make him sin.” “How?” asked Satan. “I’ll set before him the pleasures of sin,” was the reply. “I’ll tell him of its delights.” “Ah,” said Satan, “that will not do; he’s tried it, and knows better than that.” Then another imp said, “I’ll make him sin.” “What will you do?” asked Satan. “I’ll tell him of the pains and sorrows of virtue. I’ll show him that virtue has no delights and brings no rewards.” “No!” exclaimed Satan, “that will not do at all.” “Well,” said another, “I’ll undertake to make him sin.” “And what will you do?” asked Satan, again. “I will discourage his soul,” was the short reply. “Ah, that will do!” cried Satan, “we shall conquer him now.”
Spiritual conflict is at work in the heart of every believer. It’s true that the Christian possesses a new nature, but the old sin nature is still there. It’s now up to us, day by day, to yield to the new nature, which Christ dominates.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)