Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Watching Against Temptation - John Owen

In Triumph Over Temptation, John Owen encourages the reader to be aware of, and alert to, the time of temptation:

  1. We face temptation in times of prosperity. "Satisfaction and delight in creature comforts-the poison of the soul-tend to grow upon us. A hardness or lack of spiritual sense develops with success. We need to watch and fear always, but especially in times of prosperity." (168)
  2. We face temptation in times of indifference to grace, neglect of communion with god, and formality in duty. "We need to ask, "Is my zeal cold?" Is my heart not warmed by the love of God? Are we negligent in duties of prayer or of listening to the Word? Have we become feeble in our profession of the faith? Is our delight in God's people faint? Has it grown cold? Is our love for them merely carnal? If we find ourselves in such a lethargic condition, we need to wake up!" (168)
  3. We experience temptation after experiencing great fellowship with God."Sometimes God gives us special discoveries of Himself and of His love and fills our hearts with His kindness. We experience unspeakable, glorious joy. One might think this is the most secure condition in the world....Yet frequently some bitter temptation approaches us. Satan will see that we neglect many opportunities of fellowship with God in such times, so that he can enter and take advantage of us." (169)
  4. We face temptation in times of self-confidence. "Let us take heed about overconfidence. Let us also consider the times when temptation makes it approaches to the soul and fortify our heart against them." (170)

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