Truth in Temptation

“When you are tempted, God will also provide a way out.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

“Being tempted is not sin; indulging wistful consideration is a hazardous path for one’s soul.”

My thoughts today are about “truth in temptation.”

Temptation is a common experience, not a unique one. It would be naïve to think that you would not be tempted. Every one of us is a rather complicated combination of competing appetites, desires both good and bad. Read Galatians 5:16-25 NIV. Yes, that includes you. Being tempted is not sin; yielding to temptation is. Temptation presents a hazardous path for your soul. There are inclinations and opportunities for sin and selfishness that will come your way; do not follow your wrong inclinations nor accept opportunities for evil. You have the power of choice. God gave you a will with which to make right choices; choose the Godly choice. Truth will set you free!

When temptation comes from within, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NLT. When temptation comes from others, “If sinners entice you, turn your back on them . . don’t go along with them . . stay far away from their paths.” Proverbs 1:10/15 NLT. No one is your friend who would ask you to do what you know to be wrong. Peer pressure doesn’t work unless you cooperate.

Here are six, sure things about temptation. (1) The origin of temptation results from indulgence of even a consideration of sin. James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem Church, wrote, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.” James 1:13 NIV. Don’t blame your problem on God; own it, then deal with it! (2) Temptation has a power which you should not regard casually. “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” James 1:14 NIV. View sin seriously; it’s deadly. (3) Temptation progresses rapidly from bad to worse. “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:15 NIV. The path of temptation is only and always a downward spiral.

(4) Temptation lurks in the false belief of one’s own strength. “Therefore, let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. (5) Temptation is our common, human experience. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV. (6) Temptation has a limit and where the devil makes a way in God provides a way out. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV. Know this; God is faithful, even when you are tempted to be otherwise.

Take your inspiration from Jesus. “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are being tempted . . For we have a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, and was in all points tempted as we are (See Matthew 4:1-11 NIV), yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 2:18/4:15-16 NKJV. There – at His throne of grace – you will find mercy when you have failed, and grace that you would not. You have no excuse to be unprepared, no excuse to be the victim.

My prayer for you today is that you will flee from wrong, straight into God’s arms.