Temptation

We’ve been left in the dark about how to overcome the sins that so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1). We’ve been taught that we must try to resist temptation when it strikes. But what the old spiritual writers say is, when we train with Christ, we become less and less enticed by temptation. The longer we pattern our lives after Christ’s, the more God makes temptation less and less like milestones around our neck and more and more like stepping stones below our feet. We’re training instead of trying. That doesn’t means we simply surrender to temptation and wait for deliverance. In the words of St. Paul we must make no provision for the flesh (Rom 13:14). We must  fight the good fight (1 Tim 6:12). Training with Jesus doesn’t give us permission to be carried away by the torrents of our iniquity, it creates a progressive liberty from that iniquity altogether. If we keep stepping forward–not perfectly, but persistently–we can overcome.