the devil made me do it…

I have been struggling lately with some personal temptation and some frustration because of it. I have been so preoccupied with my mission-planning and a bit stressed about it… that I have been losing my focus. It has been my past that temptation comes my way when God is working on me. So, I decided I had better surrender… and to go to the Word and see what I could find and hear what God is trying to show me. I reminded myself what a kick in the head feels like.

“… 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 1:14-15

Webster’s Dictionary says that temptation is “the act of enticement to do wrong by the promise of pleasure or gain.” Now isn’t that just like the Devil, getting us to do something wrong by promising us something good? He knows where we are the weakest. He knows what temptations we are most likely to fall for. He knows the best bait to use on each of us and he uses it. And for most of us it is the same thing over and over because he isn’t a creative deceiver.

Let me be more specific. If certain movies make you weak and cause you to have certain desires that you cannot always handle, you’re setting yourself up to tempted. If you are weakened by relationships that you have with certain people, don’t hang with them. If you have a problem with gambling don’t hang out near a casino. If you have a problem with drinking, don’t hang out near the bars and nightclubs. Temptation to sin is nothing to play around with – there are places and situations you need to stay out of.

There isn’t a day that goes by that we as humans aren’t tempted. And we tend to play around with it. Hanging out near its very edge… and I can blame a lot of things on the devil but the truth is… I CHOOSE to succumb to temptation when I am not seeking God first. And that is sin. But can sin pleasurable? If the bait on the end of the hook did not look like something good to eat then fish would never bite the hook. Sin can be fun and often feels good. However, this only lasts a short time.

Do you think David experienced pleasure that night with Bathsheba? Sure he did, but do you think it was worth it to him when his child died?

When sin looks so appealing to us and it’s pleasure is dangling on a hook right in front of us, we must at these times remember that the pleasure of sin is temporary and the pain of sin is deadly.

“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


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