Will Rogers said, “People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.” When we fly off and so something contrary to God’s right way, the landing is always ugly.
Temptations are opportunities to achieve a good thing in a bad way. God gives us good desires for joy, relationships, and accomplishment, but we are tempted to twist and turn them to our own selfish desires. “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” James 1:14 ESV
In the Bible the letter from James gives the predictable course of a temptation: Desire, Deception, Decision, and then Death. It always happens that way. We have a legitimate desire or need. Satan comes along with his lies, deception, and baited trap. We decide to do things the wrong way. Then the result is that something in us dies, a relationship dies, our fellowship with God dies, and ultimately we die.
Temptations are inevitable. It’s not “if” they come, but “when” they come. Don’t go alone, God rewards those who draw near to Him.
When you are tempted don’t blame. Some blame God for making them way they are, but God entices no one to sin. Some blame others, but James rivets the responsibility squarely on us. Some blame culture, genetics, education, or society, but it comes from within our own evil desire.
Here’s a secret, don’t get into a fight with your thoughts saying, “I not going to do it. I’m not going to do it!” Fighting your thought only feeds the temptation. Rather “right” your thoughts with God’s word from the Bible and focus on the right thing to do.
Just like a fisherman puts a tasty bait on a sharp hook, so too Satan, the great liar, baits you into sin, but the hook is always there and very painful.
A sneaky way Satan gets us to give in to temptation is to tell us, “You’re missing out.” This is the oldest trick in the book, all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Satan told Eve that if she ate of the forbidden fruit, she would be like God. God is not holding out on you. He only wants to give you good gifts.
A key to being victorious in closing the door on temptation is to implant the word of God into your mind. We implant new titanium knees when the old knee stops working. We even an implant organs in place of those that don’t function correctly. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Fill it with the good stuff, God’s word.
Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, Pastor Denny will continue the series, “A Faith that Works.” Find messages at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media.” Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity. Contact Pastor Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org