James 1:13-14, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”

Temptation.  A sin that is almost as old as time.  From the time of Adam and Eve to the present day, temptation is apparent and evident.  Temptation is a crafty sin that tends to sneak up and catch people off guard.  Subtle.  Looming in the background.  Where does it come from?  Who does it originate from?  God?  Man?  Or someone else.

In James, it states that no one should say that they are tempted by God.  Is God capable of sin?  The obvious (or should be obvious) answer is an emphatic no.  So since God cannot sin, why would He wants others to sin?  He wouldn’t!  He does not cause people to sin and sin includes temptation as temptation is a sin.  So therefore, the next part of the verse should make sense.

God cannot be tempted by evil.  He is not the one who tempts anyone.  So then if God does not tempt us, who does?  James says, “evil.”  Well, evil comes in many forms but its main character is Satan.  He is the evil.  For everything that God is, Satan is the complete opposite.

Satan works to draw people away from God by our own desires and wants.  He offers us better jobs when God says stay.  He offers us the world when God offers us Heaven.  As people, we can be so short-sighted that we often look for the instant gratification rather than the future-gratification.  Willing to lose our soul to gain the world.  Here is the problem: the Earth will fade away.  There is a new Earth coming that God has created.  He is waiting for the proper time for it to come and all those of God will be on it.  All those who do not know God will not be invited.

Satan attempts to cancel everyone’s invitations that God gives.  God wants all His creation to be with Him.  Satan wants to wiggle in and do just enough damage to make sure that we don’t stay with God.  Temptation is so hard because it is contoured to the individual.  To the man who likes sports, sports can come before God.  To the woman who likes shoes, a sale for shoes may come before going to church to learn about God.  Satan seeks to know people and can be really good at reading people.  What he is not good at is a person who prays to God.  When God is called, Satan runs away waiting for another opportunity.

Temptation leads to idolatry.  What we are tempted with will come before God and anything that comes before God is an idol.  Soon, the sins begin to pile up and if not careful, we will be so far away from God that it can be hard to come back.  But come back we must.  One prayer to God and our sins will be forgiven.  Ask and we will receive.  Knock and God will open the door.

Let’s do something today.  Let’s send Satan away by refusing temptation.  Let’s send Satan away by prayer to God.  Let us equip ourselves with God and then we can stand against the evil one.  Let us read the Bible to know what to do.  Let us seek friendships with other people of God to strengthen ourselves.  We can resist the devil with the power of God.  Get with God today.  He will save.

Heavenly Father,

We know that temptation is there because even Your Son was tempted.  We pray for Your protection against not only temptation but all evil.  We know that we are a sinful people.  We know that we do not always follow You.  I am praying on behalf of not only myself but others that You help us in this area of temptation.  Let our eyes be fixed on You.  We don’t need to worry about what else is going on.  You are all we need.  You are all we ever need.  Thank You for always being there for us.  You truly are a loving and gracious God and Father.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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