Daily Devotion – Temptation

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

Ephesians 6:13 NIV“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Temptation is a part of life. Everyone who claims to be a Christ follower and who takes discipleship seriously must deal with resisting temptation and take it very serious.

Temptation is loosely defined as something we want but should not have because of our limitations imposed by ourselves, society, or our faith. All three are very good reasons but it’s seems almost always easier to indulge our urges than to resist them. If it is imposed by ourselves, it is easier to give in. Imposed by our faith, it is difficult to see the consequences. Imposed by society, well, that’s what prisons are for.

So this part is very important. In James 1: 13-15, it is made very clear that God does not tempt you. Each person is tempted when they are, here is an important word, “dragged”, away by their own evil desire and enticed. Make no mistake, you are in for the fight of your life when you try to combat temptation. In the world of a Christian, temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death of the spirit. The more you give into temptation, the spirit dies a little bit more. It is a bit like a drug. When you do it, it might be satisfying but you always come down and you are right back where you started, wanting it again. Again and again turns into a habit which then becomes self justifying. 

I am sure we mostly agree that temptation is a fight which doesn’t seem to get easier. Mainly because there are so many temptations in the world. We think we have one licked and another one takes its place. How do we do combat against this?

In Ephesians 6:13, we are told to put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we can stand our ground. However, this armor is not made of steel and iron. There is no sword or shield. The full armor of God is knowledge, knowledge that we get from the very Word of God. Many of us know that knowledge is power. This is just different knowledge. God knows that temptation is one of the most powerful tools that Satan has. He used it on Jesus Himself in the wilderness. God has equipped us with the knowledge, which is listed in the Scripture, to equip us with the Scripture Armor that we will need. The very thing that Jesus used against Satan during His testing.

Ok, so we are not perfect. God knows that. We will fail. Here is where Jesus and His divine grace comes in. Ask and you will be forgiven. Next, understand how you failed, adjust your armor, and get ready for the next battle. Stay true. It is worth it.