James 1:12 – “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (NKJV)
Every person listening to this podcast knows what it’s like to face temptation.
Think about it. You and I know how difficult it is to battle temptation. But God says there is a reward for enduring temptation. First James say, “Blessed, which means happy. He’s saying that the person who resists and endures temptation is happy. It feels good to win the battle. Giving in to the temptation produces momentary pleasure, but lingering guilt and shame.
Happiness comes from having your life under control. When you learn how to say “no,” it produces happiness. James says, this person will receive a “crown of life.” In the Greek, this literally means “life itself.” He is saying here, that when you understand temptation, when you overcome it, when you learn to say “no,” it is then that you really begin to live.
Let’s talk about temptation:
What is temptation? Temptation is a pressure within us to exceed the limitations, which God has placed upon us. It is an urge within, a desire for us to move out beyond the limits, which God has established for us.
God has placed these limits upon us, not out of cruelty or unkindness, but out of love and grace. They are necessary for our protection and for our spiritual growth.
Every temptation is an attack on God’s authority in your life
All temptation to sin is a temptation to step outside of God’s will, to step outside of his Word, and to look at his requirements for our lives, and feel like they are too difficult, unreasonable, or too overbearing.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
How do we resist temptation:
- Feed your spiritual man every single day. If you are weak spiritually, it’s not likely you’ll have the power to resist temptation.
- Be ready to use the Word of God as sword against temptation. In Luke 4, when Jesus was tempted, three times he said… “It is written…”
- Find community and accountability. Do you have someone in your life you can be completely honest with? It’s difficult to win if you are fighting alone.
Today’s Challenge: Re-engage in the battle against temptation. Identify your primary struggles. Commit to honoring the Lord in these areas of your life. Use the tools God has given you. Refuse to be alone in the fight.
- What are the sources of our temptations?
- What gives you strength in the battle against temptation?
- What story do you have of overcoming temptation?
Recommended Resource: Overcoming Temptation: Break Away from Captivity and Embrace God's Freedom by Bruce Wilkinson
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