What Is Temptation?


Does God tempt us? We come up with a lot of excuses for why we sinned or why we keep sinning. Some people even say that he did it because God tempted them. This is not true, God does not tempt us the devil does.

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.” 

One day Sarah was at home enjoying her day off from work when her husband came in and started strife. The argument quickly got heated and Sarah suddenly had a thought. ‘I should punch him in the face and shut him up this is my day off i don’t need this drama’. As the arguing continued she dwelled in the thought and finally put it into action…

I used this example to sort of show you how temptation works. It starts with an evil thought, and once you dwell on it and allow it to become an action it turns into sin. I know this example is a little extreme but this path is how it works for everything like coveting, greed etc. It always starts with a thought and if you do not rebuke or stop that thought dead in its tracks quickly it will turn into sin. Now, God does test us and he allows satan to tempt folks. But, he is allowing this to help us grow in our dependence on him and to cultivate our faith.  God’s testing is to reveal what’s in our heart and he gives us a way out. We have to always rely on his strength and obey his word. Below is a perfect example of how to fight off temptation. ↓

Matthew 4:1-11 NIV “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.”if you are the Son of God’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘ He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus answered him, ‘ It is also written: do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Again the devil took him to  a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give to you,’ he said, ‘If you bow down and worship me’. jesus said to him. ‘away from me satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”

I know this was long but it is very important, you learn a few things from the scriptures above. 1. satan tried to tempt Jesus by enticing his physical needs and wants. The lust of the flesh ←1 John 2:16 (Jesus had just fasted for forty day and forty nights, so he was hungry). 2. satan tried to tempt Jesus with power, and possessions. The lust of the eyes ←1 John 2:16 Are you seeing it yet? 3. satan tries to tempt Jesus by pride, The pride of life ← 1 John 2:16. 4. We also learn that satan will use scripture to try to trap and tempt us, which is why we need to make sure we know it. (reread Matthew 4:6,7  to know why i said this). 5. Jesus was not able to be tempted by the devil because he KNEW God’s word and he OBEYED IT.

To answer my own question ” Are you seeing it yet?” if you notice satan is using those same tactics he used on Jesus on us in our everyday lives. Just as Jesus resisted and spoke God’s word to aid him in resisting is what we can do also. We need to turn to Jesus when we are tempted for strength and he WILL help us. Sometimes just like Jesus did we have to talk back to the devil with scripture, that why it is important to get prepared and study God’s word.

So 2 Timothy 2:22 NIV ” Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

I leave you with this scripture verse “Above all else, guard you heart for everything you do flows from it.”-Proverbs 4:23 

God bless


The above image was taken from google images some of this blog was adapted from the NIV Life Application Study Bible.

© 2015 Jasmine Samilton

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