Scripture Passage: James 1:13-15
The devil has made plans to sabotage our lives; oftentimes, he does so with our full participation, by way of tempting us to sin. Becoming Christians does not make us immune to temptation.
The Gospel of Luke shares the story of when Jesus Himself was tempted by the devil.
Being tempted is not a sin; acting upon the temptation is. Everyone can give a reason as to why they have sinned. However, “being provoked” is not an excuse.
Adrian Rogers says, “There's one thing that God will never accept for sin and that is an alibi.”
James 1:14 says, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren."
Our cause for sin is within ourselves. It is our own nature, our own lust. When the devil tempts us, he baits us with the sin’s temporary pleasures so that it may entice us and allure us.
But when the pleasure wears away, we are trapped in a toxic, unholy marriage with the responsibility of the sins we committed. Only in hindsight can we clearly see the finished product of the devil’s scheme… it was sabotage. The pleasure fades, and what’s left of it strangles the life out of us. Spiritual and physical death is the devil’s ultimate goal.
What is our defense against the temptation to sin? Jesus Christ.
We fall into temptation because we are trying to satisfy something within ourselves. When the devil tempts us, he is tricking us into satisfying our legitimate desires in an illegitimate way.
But God made us to where we can never be satisfied apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only through Jesus can we live as we ought to live. That's the way to overcome temptation: to receive and love Christ.
Jesus Christ is the only one who can satisfy your longing, restless heart and help you resist the temptation to sin. Do you know Him? Do you walk with Him? Do you find your satisfaction in Him alone? Spend some time with Him in prayer today.