When Temptation Strikes….Start Praying Immediately

13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. 15Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death—James 1:13-15

Temptation will be with us as long as we live. Although the areas of enticement and their power over us will change with time, we will never be so mature or spiritually minded that we can totally relax our vigilance against them. Satan is always ready to capitalize on our weaknesses and selfish desires to draw us away from the heavenly Father.

James says we are tempted when we are carried away by our own lusts. Therefore, the problem begins within us when we feel the pull of our flesh to think, speak, or do what is contrary to God’s standard of holiness. Although being tempted is not a sin in itself, yielding to it is. When we dwell on a tempting thought, the idea gains a foothold in our mind and desires. With more attention, the desire will grow until a choice must be made about whether or not to act.

At the same time, we shouldn’t think that holding onto sinful desires is fine as long as we don’t actually do anything. Jesus debunked this idea in the Sermon on the Mount when He enlarged the Law’s commandments to include not just actions but also attitudes of the heart (Matt. 5:21-48). Anything less than God’s standard of holiness is not His will for us (Matt. 5:48).

Temptations start small. Yielding to them may seem inconsequential, but once we give in, that sin gains strength in our life and our ability to resist grows weaker. It may seem as if there’s no way out of this downward spiral, but God has given us a way of escape if we choose to seek out His help.

You Are An Overcomer

You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”—1 John 4:4

How often do you sin? Every day? Once a week? Once a month? When you think about it, sin is sin and the frequency of your committing sin is not the issue. The issue here, of course, is that you have sinned.

God’s word says that, “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23). Not immediate physical death but future spiritual death and ultimate separation from God. It’s impossible to have self-control over committing sin. Especially if the sin you commit is one that has haunted you for a life time. If you fall into this category of sinner realize that Satan has your number. He knows exactly where you are weakest.

But there is hope for those who have failed to remain righteous in their life. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He gave you the Holy Spirit to live within and help you with just these sort of things and weak moments.

God’s word says, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) The Holy Spirit is greater and more powerful than Satan will ever be. It’s up to you to tap into that power, harness it, and use it for strength to resist temptation, which happens just before you sin.

Now’s not the time to throw a pity party and wallow in the failures of the past. Instead it’s time to praise God, for his goodness and to move forward! You are an overcomer.

People Are Watching You

As Christians we sometime allow our personal feelings to show whether they be negative or positive. It’s the negative we have to be careful with. If you are following Christ as your Lord and Savior then you know that life will be difficult at times and how we handle those situations will set us apart from the world.

If you want to make an impact for the Lord then remember, everywhere we go, someone is watching us. A family member, a child, a friend, a co-worker-someone is watching. This watching is not being done in some weird way, but done to see how we do things especially if we claim to be Christians. Not only are our actions being watched, but also our attitudes and motives. People want to know if the Christian life is real so they watch. Jesus gives us an opportunity to influence others for Him by representing Him in this world.

Where Will You Do Battle Today?

Stumbling in sin will occur because we live amidst two kingdoms that are in constant conflict. On the one hand, there’s the pull of the world, and on the other, the pull of God. In other words, Satan throws temptations our way, but from our Father comes the appeal of holiness, peace, and joy in Christ.

Jesus taught us to, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). The way to do this is by spending time with our Father in prayer and in His Word

The battle is ongoing. And it rages not just in the realms of education, science, politics, and finances but also within every human heart. Yours and mine. To be successful in God’s eyes, it’s critical that we keep His priorities as our own and make continual course corrections to stay on track.

Is Temptation A Sin?

Temptation, by its very nature, feels wrong. God’s moral law is written in the heart of every human being (Romans 1:20), and when a sinful temptation is introduced, our consciences immediately sense danger. However, the temptation itself is not the sin. Jesus was tempted (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1-13), but He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Sin occurs when we mishandle temptation.

Since Satan is the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the father of lies (John 8:44), all evil originates with him. However, our own selfish nature is an ally of Satan’s. We need no prompting from Satan to entertain sinful ideas.

Even though we may desire to do good, we are all tempted. No one is above it, even someone like the apostle Paul. He shared his own struggle of flesh against spirit when he wrote in Romans 7:22-23, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

Temptation is not of itself sinful. It becomes sin when we allow the temptation to become action, even in our minds. Lust, for example, is sin even though it may never be acted upon (Matthew 5:28). Covetousness, pride, greed, and envy are all sins of the heart; even though they may not be apparent to anyone else, they are still sin (Romans 1:29; Mark 7:21-22).

The best defense against giving in to temptation is to flee at the first suggestion. Joseph is a great example of someone who did not allow temptation to become sin (Genesis 39:6–12).

Romans 13:13-14 (ESV) gives us a guideline for avoiding situations that can lead to temptation. “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” If we determine to “make no provision for the flesh,” we will keep ourselves out of situations that may prove too tempting.

God promises to provide a “way of escape” when we are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13), but often that way is to avoid the situation altogether.

We have a responsibility to pay attention to the direction God is leading us and avoid temptation whenever we can.

The Breakfast of Champions

When you get up in the morning what does your routine look like? If you’re like most, you probably go to the bathroom, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and then head out the door to work. There is only one item missing from your morning routine and that is bible reading and prayer time.

Spending time in the bible, God’s word, and in prayer will start your day with power, wisdom and love. Missing an opportunity to spend some time with the Lord is like missing a high energy breakfast that provides fuel for your body all day long.

This “alone time” with God and His word will also provide you with wisdom to accomplish your daily tasks and provide you the ability to resist sin and its temptations.

Nutritionists state that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it provides the fuel your body needs to get going and stay productive. Spending time with God and in His word is the most important thing you can do for yourself in the morning.

Why not incorporate “alone time” with God at the start of your day. Consuming God’s word is like eating the breakfast of champions and it prepares you for the day ahead. Try it. You’ll like it!