Do you know what man’s oldest problem is? This problem goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. Humanity’s oldest problem is still a problem today thousands of years later. It’s something we don’t discuss very often but it effects all of us. Temptation is man’s oldest problem and we’ve all faced it at sometime or the other. Maybe you faced temptation this week at work or while you were shopping at the mall. Maybe it was home in front of the computer or TV screen when you confronted temptation. Someone has said that the only way to get rid of temptation is to give into it. Fortunately the person who said that wasn’t God.
1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 4:15; James 1:13-18
“But each person is tempted by their own evil desires. These desires lead them on and drag them away. When these desires are allowed to remain, they lead to sin. And when sin is allowed to remain and grow, it leads to death.”
The question for each of us is, “How do I level up and handle temptations?” James, who was the half- brother of Jesus, gets real practical in his teaching on temptation. He says the first thing we have to do is be realistic about this thing called temptation. We have to be realistic and face the fact that all of us will be tempted in life. Young and old. Male and female. Rich and poor. Saint and sinner. James who was writing to us some 2000 years ago knew that temptations are inevitable. James was tempted in the first century AD and you and I will be tempted in the 21st century AD. Every day we face temptation. You never get too old for it. Everybody is tempted and you should be warned that the more you grow in your faith and grow spiritually the more you’re going to be tempted by the enemy of your soul.
Do you believe temptation is a tool that God uses to test us? What would you say to someone who said that it’s a sin to be tempted? Have you come to a place in your spiritual life that you are now immune from temptation? Do you find it hard to accept responsibility for your own temptations or is it easier to blame someone else? How do you prepare for temptation? When has the devil ever taken a legitimate God given desire in your life and turned it into temptation? What’s the single greatest thing a person can do to handle temptation?
If you’re a member of God’s family, there are two important resources you need in order to fight temptation.
#1 Fellowship with other Christians for accountability and community by getting plugged into a Bible study or a Life Group. God never meant for us to fight this battle alone. #2 Fill your mind with scripture by reading the Bible which is our secret weapon against temptation. The Bible is the truth we need in a world of lies, deception and misdirection.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that I don’t have to be taken out by temptation. I’m so grateful that you never tempt me to do evil. Right now, you are making available to me the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the battle with temptation. Show me what I may be doing in my life that is putting me in jeopardy of being tempted to sin. And then give me the boldness and courage to change those things and walk in freedom and liberty. I want my life to bring glory and honor to you. In your name I pray. Amen