“When tempted, no one should say “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” Jame 1:13-14
God does not tempt us. But, He does allow temptation to occur. We need to understand the difference. God himself did not author temptation, but He is willingly giving us the choice: follow God’s will or succumb to sin.
He desires us to make the correct choice and follow His way, for sure. But He loves us so much that He wants us to truly love Him back, and to obey out of love, not some robotic-like programming.
So, how should we work our way away from temptation?
First, although the Enemy would love for us to believe otherwise, we are truly not the first to struggle with any type of temptation. Sin is sin, regardless its’ form. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” I Corinthians 10:13a.
Second, God promises to never leave nor forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:6b We are not alone, EVER!
Third, God will not let you be overpowered by temptation. Although we often feel temptation’s draw with certain sins, God promises to not give us more than we can handle. “And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I Corinthians 10:13b
Maybe you were sorely tempted to drink an alcoholic beverage. On your way to the kitchen, the phone rang, interrupting you trip into temptation. After a fifteen minute conversation with your best friend, you hang up, the craving gone.
You never know what God is using for your window! But, be on the lookout for it, and when you find it, seize it with a death grip and run!
Fourth, instead of beating yourself up for still being tempted, memorize this verse, sticking it on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, whatever helps: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”11 Corinthians 12:9
Lastly, it goes without saying, when we have fallen, recognize it. Repent for it. Then, refuse to wallow in it. Satan will try to serve it up on a silver platter, constantly trying to remind you how undeserving you are. Recall Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Yet He loves us. Immensely!
1) How can I better recognize temptation?
2) How can I focus on getting away from temptation?
3) Record the ‘windows’ God provides for you this week. Thank Him for such loving concern!
4) Do I work at immediate repentance when I recognize I have sinned in thought or deed?
5) Practice extending to others the grace God has extended to you.
Thank you for reading and for your encouragement! Please return by Monday, September 10, for the next post.