Noticing that it would soon be lunch time, I looked down at what I was wearing to decide what I’d eat on my hot dog. I know that sounds funny, but I’ve never been the neatest person in the world. If any condiments are going to drip, it will be mine. Experience has taught me the best way to combat my personal ineptitude is to simply eat only food that matches what I’m wearing.
Serving God is the same way, I need to plan my activities and thoughts so that they match God’s will. Like being aware of my tendency to drop and spill, I’m aware of my weakness toward sin (Jeremiah 17:9).
However, the Holy Spirit is faithful to nudge my conscience when I start getting off track. As long as I read God’s Word so that I recognize sin, I can make a plan ahead of time to turn aside when temptation confronts me (Philippians 4:13).
Sin is a choice, sometimes, an easy choice, but God is faithful and won’t let satan tempt me beyond what I can resist. Scripture reveals that temptation comes easiest when I get close to it (James 1:14).
That doesn’t mean resisting is easy, it means that if the temptation is before me, there is a way of retreat; but, it is a conscious choice that I make. When I, in knowledge, move closer to those things that I know tempt me, my resistance wears down.
God does not tempt us, ever. (James 1:13) We are tempted when we want something we shouldn’t have. Instead of turning the temptation over to God, we inch closer and closer, looking first with one eye then the other.
There is no sin in being tempted; temptation is a common tool satan uses to entice us to step out of God’s will for our life. EVERYBODY is tempted. Even Jesus was tempted, yet He remained without sin. Where sin starts is when I go from being tempted to reaching for the temptation.
Within myself, I know my weaknesses and I also know if I’m weak in that area, God is strong and I can lean on Him (II Corin. 12: 10). When I make a plan to resist temptation, just like making a plan to eat mustard when I wear a yellow shirt; I’m prepared.
I Corinthians 10:13 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.
Prayer: Father God, help me to recognize temptation and through Bible Study and prayer, to be prepared to turn away. Open my ears to hear the warning voice of the Holy Spirit and give me a pure heart so that I turn aside and look at you instead of the temporary pleasure of sin. Thank you for helping me to resist. Amen.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.Who can understand it?
Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
James 1:13-14 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own(A) evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong