16
Aug
11

temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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.”

The first thing we need to acknowledge is that we all will be tempted. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for sure and, more than likely, on other occasions as well for the Scripture says in Luke 4:13, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”

The second thing we know is temptation itself is not sin. Hebrews 4:15 says he was “tempted in every way, just as we are– yet was without sin.”

Thirdly, temptation is the result of what is already in our heart. James, the brother of Jesus, reveals this principle when he writes: “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1:14)

Fourthly, temptation becomes sin, according to the 15th verse of James 1, when we allow illicit thoughts to predominate (take hold of) our thinking and effect our behavior.

Finally, Paul informs us that God will never allow us to be tempted beyond our maturity level and that, with the temptation, God will provide a strategy to overcome that specific temptation. That’s great news! I wonder though – when was the last time, in the midst of a trial, you stopped to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the Divine strategy God had prepared for you to deal with that specific spiritual battle you were facing?

The reason I ask is because I know how often the enemy comes at me and, instead of taking a deep breath and asking the Spirit to reveal to me the strategy God has prepared for me to use to win the battle, I rely on my own plan or some past strategy God used in my life or a strategy that I heard worked for someone else when they were facing a similar battle. However, by God’s grace, I am learning to “walk by the Spirit (so that I) will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16) and you can too!

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