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. Temptation 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 1:12-15 NLT
Temptation has been a part of man's history from the very beginning. In Genesis 3:1-7, it was temptation that gave opportunity for Adam and Eve to fall. Ever since, we, as the human race have experienced the depravity that resulted from our ancestors decision. Each of us, too, have opportunity to fall. We are, by nature, prone to depravity. The old 1758 hymn by Robert Robinson "Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"
has a line that says "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love". We all struggle with the common temptations of this fallen world. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT None of us are exempt from temptation. Each and every day we must deal with these "opportunities" to sin. How we handle them determines the consequences. We can choose to succumb or we can choose to resist. God has given us free will choice. We aren't robots or puppets. We are free moral agents. God allows us to decide what we will do with our temptations. We must constantly be aware, and on guard, in order to be prepared for the inevitable. Temptation will come! The issue is whether or not we are ready! Satan sets us up by allowing us to drop our guard and become comfortable and complacent. Often, we are least ready, he pounces on us like a lion. I Peter 5:8 says "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." NLT The very next verse, I Peter 5:9, tells us to stand strong and resist him. We cannot be strong, or resist, if we aren't in the Word and in tune with the Holy Spirit. We fall to temptation when we are distracted by the things of our sinful flesh rather than yielding to the Holy Spirit. God wants us to be an over comer. He doesn't tempt us and He can't be tempted (see James 1:13). There is a three step process of temptation: 1. Lust - the desire 2. The decision - to act or not 3. The result - consequences. Giving in to temptation only results in death (separation from fellowship with God). This is the goal of Satan. Our sinful desires never has a positive result. When we endure temptation, and refuse to give in, we please God and receive His blessing rather than sins devastating results. Today, you will face temptation! It is up to you to decide. Let the the Holy Spirit have control and He will help you overcome. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 NLT
Rev. Curtis Norris