Book Review | Tempted and Tried

I want you to see how imperiled you are. I want you to see how fought for you are. p. 196

Tempted and Tried by Russell Moore might possibly be my read of the year for 2022! I know it’s still early and there are a lot of great things to read, but this book has quickly risen to the top of my list. Dr. Moore wrote this book in 2011 and I’m not sure how I’ve not run across it before. I’m a big fan of his writing and his commitment to Scripture. No matter your walk of life, everyone has encountered temptations and trials. You are either in the midst of that season, coming out of it, or heading into it. How’s that for encouraging?!

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • It starts as a series of innocent departures, gradually leading to something more and something more. p. 17
  • Before you wrestle with temptation in your own life, you’ll need to see the horror of what it really is, as well as the glory of how Jesus triumphs over it. p. 28
  • The first step in the cycle of temptation is the question of your identity. p. 28
  • Identify confusion is the reason people are able to affirm one thing and do another. p. 36
  • The second step in temptation is the confusion of desires. p. 37
  • Temptation is, by definition, subtle and personality specific, with a strategy to enter as larvae and then emerge in the fullness of time as a destructive animal force.  This is why James uses embryonic language to speak of the “lure” of desire: “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15) p. 48
  • Temptation only works if the possible futures open to you are concealed.  Consequences, including those of Judgement Day, must be hidden from view or outright denied. p. 50
  • Jesus in the wilderness is preparing himself for sacrifice as both the one who is offering and as the offering itself.  As the offering, he is tested and found to be without spot, without blemish.  As the High Priest, he is found to be worthy of entering the presence of God to offer blood that is his own. p. 55
  • Don’t mistake the stillness of your conscience for freedom from temptation. p. 59
  • God breaks the illusions of temptation by showing us why the appetites were created in the first place and why they’re so powerful.  The appetites don’t exist for themselves but for a deeper spiritual reality. p. 73
  • Don’t let your urges scare you.  Let them instead drive you to pray for the wisdom to see what you were created to be and to do.  Watch the triggers in your life that lead you to hunger for what you want, and be warned.  But in the meantime seek to direct your appetites toward the ways in which the Word of God and the order of the universe tell us they can be fulfilled.  And then seek to learn to long more for their ultimate resolution in a new creation. p. 74
  • To lose control of your appetites is to lose sight of the gospel itself, the truth that God knows what you need to survive-the broken body and spilled blood of Jesus.  God allows his people to “hunger” so he can feed them with what is better than what they would choose. The Israelites wanted Egyptian onions and leeks; God was training their appetites for bread from heaven. p. 81
  • The fear of death overshadows us, tempting us to grab what we want, to satisfy our cravings, before we lose our opportunity.  The reign of death seeks to drive us on to fill our guts with what we think we need.  In order to follow Jesus through this wilderness, thought, we must learn to be fathered as well as fed.  In order to get to the Father’s table, we must end the grip that death has on us by teaching us to crave more and more of what cannot satisfy.  We must starve to death. p. 96
  • Self-denying humility ought to show up in the way we worship together. p. 149
  • Temptation seems irresistible because our affections haven’t yet been trained fully for the glory that awaits us. p. 190
  • I want you to see how imperiled you are.  I want you to see how fought for you are. p. 196

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