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Temptation

The impossibility of God tempting anyone may not come across to some people as a true statement when it is a lot easier to blame God for your problems than the real source of temptation. God is a Holy being, which means he will not tempt anyone to maintain his highest goal of being morally pure. You see, it takes someone with a desire to deceive you with evil motives to lead you into sin. However, people can be unaware of how their decision affects other people or lack the foresight to know poor decisions cause harm. Only an evil person has the desire to deliberately inflict pain and suffering upon you. Satan is a spiritual being with a personal vendetta with God that has the desire to destroy your life.

According to Godís word God has plans for you, but his plan has nothing to do with harming his creation. God desires that you prosper in everything you do and he is willing to give freely his wisdom to assure you of success. God always provides a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and does not want anyone to perish. God commanded the sun to rise on the unrighteous and the righteous alike, moreover, rain falls on the fields of both the righteous and the unrighteous. God sent his son to save the unrighteous so that his father could establish a personal relationship with those who seek him. God is impartial and has chosen to love his creation regardless of how they live. It is to Godís glory to display a personal concern over the well being of those unworthy of his favor.

The worse thing about temptation is that we are the biggest contributors to our own deception and play an active role in its development. On the other hand, God can not be tempted and wants man to learn how to deal with temptation. The bible has much to say about the old man and the sinful desire that stem from his heart. In addition, the world is filled with corruption caused by evil desires. Many of us submit too peer pressure and conform to the ways of the world without considering their outcome. God teaches us that thoughts create our deeds and dominate every action of our life.

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. James 1:13-15

Through James God has advised those who are willing to listen that everyone must master his or her own evil desires or become prey to the consequences. The sinful nature has been around ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Since then the natural desire of man to rebel against Godís law has become an instinctive part of man.

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genesis 4:7

Desires that creep into your mind do not announce their intent good or bad. No one is immune to wicked thoughts or able to live a life free of sin. Ruling over evil desires takes time, patience, and experience working with God to overcome the world and sinís desire to enslave you. Every thought must be evaluated by comparing your thoughts to an absolute standard that you will not violate. Through Paul God counsels you to,

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:5-6

God does everything by well thought out plans specifically designed to avoid evil. Thoughts need to be nipped in the bud or they will produce deeds that harm other people. Deeds done in love demand consideration. Those who consider the consequences of their thoughts before acting upon them do so to honor Christ. At the same time, if we harm anyone, it is our responsibility to restore the relationship by making things right.

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. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Paul states that all temptations are common to man and in like manner, Peter confirms that your brothers through out the world are undergoing similar sufferings. The good news is that through faith we are able to quench the fiery darts while resisting the Devil. God has given us divine weapons that can penetrate the spirit realm and strike the instigator who fuels our mind with corruption. Peter says resist him and he will flee.

The Spirit led Jesus into the desert where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. In this picture we see how Jesus handled the deception of Satan. In each temptation Jesus quoted the words his father spoke to him verbatim. The idea behind quoting scripture is found in handling the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Jesus revealed the divine power available to us to quench and subdue every deceptive allegation and argument that comes against the knowledge of God.

In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. Revelations 1:16

Jesus dealt with temptation with a sharp double-edged sword that came out of his mouth. Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD, which is the Sword of the Spirit, and the word of God. Still, all of this is meaningless without a solid trust in God and his word. The double-edged sword of God must be combined and used with faith.

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:10

Godís word pierces the heart of man affecting change in his thoughts and actions. Though Satan words conflict with Godís word they affect the spiritual nature of man through cunning. Satan is able to deceive Christians to the point that they fall headlong into sin. Learning to fight the battle of faith within

Because of this law Paul said the godly things I want to do I cannot do and the ungodly things I want to avoid are the things I find myself doing. Paul goes on to say that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Everyone who has the hope of glory should make every effort to live his or her life to please God. Those who live to please the flesh have a mind that is hostile to God and desires the things of the world. Those who continually sin are focused on possessing temporal things that arouse the senses, but are the very things that will be destroyed on Christís return. In the overall picture, those who please God live by faith.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Peter writes that God has given us everything we need to live a godly life and called us to be godly people by his own glory and goodness. Through Godís promises you may participate in the divine nature and avoid the immorality of the world produced by its cravings. In progressive steps Peter instructs the sincere Christian how to make his calling and election sure and a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (See 2 Peter 1:1-11)

Christianís know that relationships require work to keep them in good condition. Keeping your relationship with God requires the same kind of work to maintain a intimate relationship with God. As Godís child he wants you to be like him in every way and is teaching you through his word to have a concern for other people. Temptations come and go, but your father in heaven can not be tempted and will not lead anyone into sin.

Godís word teaches you how to avoid the sin when tempted. Though temptation interrupts the daily routine of life it should be considered a serious matter and dealt with in a godly fashion. When treated right temptation can be used to develop the kind of decisions that help you do your best to live a holy life. Isnít that what God wants?

 

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