Friday, February 8, 2013

Faithful Friday {The Source of Temptation}

Each and every one of us face temptation in our daily lives:

tempted to be lazy
tempted to get angry
tempted to lust after someone
tempted to lie
tempted to be selfish
tempted to put life before God
tempted to judge
tempted not to take care of yourself

Feeling convicted yet? I know I am!

Sometimes I get irritated with God when I'm having trouble with a particular temptation. The conversation goes something like this:

God, why are You putting me through this?! I'm trying to grow as a Christian and now You throw THIS in front of me? I'm not strong enough to resist it! YOU KNOW I'M NOT! Can't You just make it stop?

...and when, predictably, I give into the temptation:

I'm sorry God, I really am. I didn't MEAN to do/think/feel/act ___, but I told You! I can't handle it! I asked You to take it away and You didn't. What else did You expect?

I fall into a cycle, alternating between begging God to shield me from temptation and justifying it when I don't resist. However, when I complain to God this way I'm making a fundamental error: HE is not the one who tempts me! Satan is!

James writes,

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."
{James 1:12-14 NKJV}

God doesn't tempt us - He just allows us to be tempted. That's part of the whole "free will" thing He gave us! He knows that we ALL have a human desire to sin, and He knows that we will fall sometimes!

God does not expect for us to be perfect. All He truly wants is for us to seek Him in the face of temptation, try our best to resist it - with His help! - to truthfully confess our sins when we give into temptation, and to ask for His mercy and forgiveness - which He freely offers to all who believe in Him.

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