Jesus had three temptations when he fasted for 40 days in the desert. A voice challenged him to ask for bread from GOD just as Moses did, and then to fly with the help of Angels, and lastly, to reign humanity with his new-found metaphysical powers. Jesus declined and the dark one left him when he said, "Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your GOD, and serve HIM only'."
When we succumb to idols such as power, lust or greed, we simply give life to a force that is not of GOD and that interferes with our spiritual path. We want something and we presume that these idols will get us there only to find that they don't, no matter what we do. Yet, it is nothing to be afraid of either, saying no to this force that promises heaven on earth with improper means is a simple decision. Once we can see what these interfering desires really stand for we can move on with our life and do what is of GOD instead.
Our plight is that we have unfulfilled desires and we run after the wrong things to satisfy them. We follow the voice in our head that unfortunately only pretends to have our best interest in mind. With a little soul searching, however, it is possible to discover what the idol stands for and what missing authentic need we try to substitute it for. GOD does not want us to suffer. HE will always give us an outlet for our authentic needs that we can reach with kosher spiritual means.
We all have our idols. For some it is power or money, for others it is chasing the opposite sex. Some need to impress others with their knowledge, or their profession and status. Everyone wants to be special in their own separate way. When you find yourself running after the gold that glitters on the horizon stop in the tracks for you will never reach it by running in the wrong direction. But then, eventually we realize the movie we are in. The idol might still hold power over us but with a cool head we simply say no because we have traveled the journey into nowhere before.
Recognize the authentic need and satisfy it the proper way. Life will always show you how it can be done. I had an eye opener a few years ago when I realized that I found sexual images of power and aggression appealing. That struck me as odd and inconsistent with my personality given that it was in complete contrast to my otherwise mellow and kind nature. When I dug a little deeper I discovered that my shadow personality wanted me to be more assertive and decisive in real life. While it was hard to overwrite my life-time programming, it turned out that I was in a profession that rewarded divisiveness and assertion. I proved it to myself that becoming tougher and more straight-forward in business doesn't have to come at a spiritual cost at all. When it comes to stepping out of the shadows, demons and Angels in fact cheer for the same cause.
I found my shadow insight very revealing. Temptation is nothing to be afraid of. Just ask yourself what the appeal is all about and how you can reach it with proper spiritual means. Jesus was obviously struggling with power given that all three temptations were about using metaphysical powers in one way or another. Yet, he discovered and embraced his true POWER by becoming GOD's healer and prophet.
What is your insight?