Temptation Has Its Source
“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.” (I Corinthians 10:13)
We usually deal with the word TEMPTATION as if it were an ugly word. While temptation is the first step to sin, it is not, in itself, sin. But, because it is not sin, that does not mean that we should take it lightly or be dull in recognizing its source.
The writer James, says, “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. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.” (James 1:13-16).
Temptation is Satan’s most used tool. He uses it to lure us into situations that he designs to pull us away from God. God knows what he uses and how he uses it. Though God does not take temptations away from us, He certainly gives us a way around them. Satan has his effect on us with a constant bombardment of his various tempting schemes. God has His shield for us by constantly providing for us a way out. What Satan has the power to do to us, God has even more power to protect us. The real challenge, however, is that God gives us a choice. He puts the ball in our court, so to speak, and allows us to chose the direction we would like to go.
Since temptations are “common to man”, as Paul said, we must constantly be on our guard against them. There is never a time when we should let our guard down and think that we are above and beyond being tempted.
Here are some things that might help when we feel the power of Satan’s temptations in our lives.
First, think about what is happening. When we enter a situation without thinking ahead, more often than not, we exit disappointed.
Next, realize a temptation for what it is. Read the passage again from James. Temptations are to us what a worm on a hook is to a fish. It is not the worm that catches the fish. It is the hook. The hook is cleverly disguised as something promising and good. That’s the part the worm plays. The worm is only there as a lure. Temptations are the bait. Watch out! There is a hook in there somewhere.
Be visual. If God said that there would always be a way of escape…then know that it’s there. By being visual we will look for it. It may simply be the word NO. On the other hand, it may mean that you have to run. To abstain from sin is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
Afterwards, look at the end result. “It brings forth death…” A constant practice of sin causes a heart to become calloused and hard. As a result, it becomes easier and easier for a person to give up on the Christian life and turn his back on God.
Know that temptation is not a toy. We must avoid it like it was the plague. God is on our side and He is “faithful”. If He is for us, who can be against us?