Monday, August 30, 2010

Plain Talk About Temptation...[166]

James 1:13-18 (New International Version)

13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
  1. Temptation is always present in life - The moment we entered this world, we were drafted into a lifelong battle with temptation.
  2. Temptation is never prompted by God - God is not directly or indirectly involved in tempting us to sin.
  3. Temptation follows a consistent process -
  • ...the bait is dropped...
  • ...our inner desire is attracted to the bait...
  • ...sin occurs when we yield to temptation...
  • ...sin result in death...

4. Temptation flourishes on inconsistent thinking - The battlefront for resisting being drawn away from God is in the mind. Each time we yield to temptation we believe a lie- and what's worse, we start living in one.

Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow
a habit, reap your character. Sow your character, reap your destiny.

If we sow these thoughts consistently, we should crowd out the weeds of temptation and harvest more fruits of the Spirit.
Yet how many of us pray for deliverance from some temptation, only to turn right around and expose ourselves to it again?
To pray against temptation, and yet to rush into occasions, is to
thrust your fingers into the fire, and then pray they might not be
Christians cannot achieve victory over temptation with knowledge alone. We must sow God's Word into our daily living through obedience. Then temptation will begin to lose its foothold in our lives.

No one is immune from temptation. So it would be a wise investment of our time to do a little self-evaluation.

Temptation always triggers a choice and provokes a definite stand or action. Between us and the fulfillment of God's promises always lies a situation containing temptation - and it is how we respond to temptation that determines whether or not we receive the fulfillment of our promise. Temptation is designed to bring out what is really in our hearts. Seen in this perspective, temptation isn't something frightening or to be avoided - it prepares us to receive what we long to have.

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