Temptation - Forward - March 16, 2018

Temptation

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Today's passage: James 1:13-15

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15

Reflect

Which enticements are the most difficult for me to resist?

How do these enticements turn my head away from God?

Do I ever feel like I am being dragged towards temptation almost against my will, like it is a force beyond my power?

Our desires--whether for money, sex, fame, power, possessions, success, or prestige--are incredibly powerful forces. So powerful, in fact, that they often succeed, as these verses say, in "dragging us away" from what is right and good. Our desires literally turn our hearts and minds away from God toward evil. That's why it's so important to identify these desires, these temptations. Bring them into the open; confront them face-to-face. Acknowledging our temptations weakens their power over us, and confessing these temptations to God and asking for His guidance in overcoming them weakens their destructive power even further.

Respond

Ask for change: Lord, give me the courage to name my temptations as well as the courage to trust that You will lead me away from them day by day.

Consider what's real: One look at our society tells us that temptations are a very real and powerful force. Society is rampant with sex, drugs, alcohol, overspending, materialism, and a host of other vices. Clearly we are not capable of fending off these temptations on our own accord. Yet God does not leave us to resist temptation all on our own: "When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Additional verses to consider: 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Timothy 2:22

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