James 1:12-13(NLT), “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.”
James 1:14-16 (NLT), “Temptations comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
James encourages us to patiently endure temptations. Endure means to overcome, to resist and to refuse to give in to the temptations. Temptation is an attempt to influence your decision to commit an error or mistake in exchange of pleasure or something to gain.
The purpose of temptation is nothing but to destroy you. The devil is looking for a cracked on wall of your life and enter in to demolish you. There is a huge distinction between temptation and “testing of your faith.” They are not the same. People are tempted to make wrong decisions in the midst of the testing of their faith. People tend to do foolish things during pressures of life.
According to James, God does not tempt anyone; rather temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. Fleshly desires will open doors for yielding to temptation.
Temptation can begin right at the start of your day. At times, rising up is a drag; you don’t feel motivated to work, and therefore you are tempted to call off sick. Now, it’s your choice. It’s either you go to work or not. It’s up to you.
There is always temptation, and the problem is yielding to temptation. The devil can instigate a war against you; but if you let him play around with you, he’ll mess with you. But if you resist him, he will flee away from you (James 4:7).
Example: John apologized to Paul for giving out Paul’s cell phone number to Ringo. However, Paul told John not to worry. Paul said, “Ringo can ring my cell 24/7 alright, but the thing is I never answer my cell phone.”
You see, the devil can ring your phone 24/7 none stop, but if you don’t yield to him, it does him nothing. The devil’s trait is to find an audience. Once he finds you as an audience, he’ll perform and play the game until you succumbed to his temptation and loose. Don’t give him any audience at all. The devil knows that he’s making a fool of himself. God had showed him the door and disposed him like lighting, away from His glory.
A very good example of temptation is when Satan, the devil, enticed Jesus to accept his offer. The devil took advantage of Jesus’ condition; He was weak, hungry and His mindset could have been blurry at the time. He was in forty days of fasting. The situation sets a perfect opportunity to assault Jesus with temptations.
However, God is good because He would not allow you to be tempted beyond your capacity. When temptation occurs, you have two choices to make. Overcome or yield.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV), “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but 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, that you may be able to bear it.”
Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 10:13 in the premise that the Christians are aware of what had occurred during the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years. God did not put them in the wilderness to die because He wants them to teach a lesson. Because of their evil heart of unbelief and disobedience, they could not enter the promise land.
1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (NKJV), “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea … but with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after the evil things as they also lusted … Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
Paul mentioned three important things that the reader needs to pay attention to:
First, Paul said that God was not pleased with that generation. Therefore they suffered the consequence of their sins. God did not place them in the wilderness for the sake of teaching them something. If that is true, at the end of the day, the teacher is a fool because all of His students are dead.
Second, Paul said that the experienced of these people in the wilderness became our examples for learning the ways of God. Neither it was designed for our learning, but the consequence of that tragic experience is now a lesson to be learned. Therefore, you shall not say that God is tempting you if you are in the midst of temptation. God does not tempt anyone.
Third, Paul said these examples were written for our admonition. Paul is talking about the written for of God. We have in our possession the word of God and we have the ability and capability to read and study His Word. Therefore, there is no excuse of falling into temptations.
The Apostle Paul gives us a way to overcome temptation in Galatians 5:16, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Walking in the Spirit is walking in the obedience of the word of God. Walking in the Spirit is being sensitive to the voice of conviction in your heart. Walking in the Spirit is being honest to your self. Majority of people who fall to temptations knew in their heart and very much aware that they have difficulty resisting the attacks of the devil.
Most who fail to temptation have something evil hidden somewhere in the closets of their heart. All along their lives they have been refusing and ignoring the voice and warnings of the Holy Spirit. Their hearts were hardened to the voice of the Spirit. They knew they have difficulty in getting rid of the evil poison within their hearts. The call of their lust is too much for them to handle. And when this lust reach its maturity, it yields its fruit, and the result is too late for them to control. The result is sin and death.
A good word of advise is to face your skeleton in the closet and get rid of it at the earliest time it is discovered. That stinking skeleton in your heart is the devil’s anchor to your soul. You can run but you cannot hide. For sure the devil will expose every bit and pieces of every evil ways you have voluntarily enjoyed messing around with temptation.
God bless you.