James 1:1-8 – “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” NASU
1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” NASU
Picking up where we left off yesterday I must repeat something that many have heard me say, God’s ultimate desire for His children is ‘conformity’ with the Person & Image of Jesus Christ. He wants us to have ‘full salvation’ and ‘complete deliverance’. He wants us to enjoy and manifest His abundant provisions and to walk in victory PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS!
LIFE is a process from infancy, to adolescence, to adulthood. Our spiritual life and walk involves numerous tests and various encounters which help to shape and develop our character. They also provide a barometer by which we can identify where we are on the thermometer of life. Hosea 4:6 – “My people perish for a lack of knowledge…”
That is applicable today even in the face of the expansion of knowledge exponentially almost daily on so many fronts. If we do not know God’s will, we are incredibly unlikely to do God’s will. If we do not understand what He is doing we may and likely will resist and even rebel rather than resting and learning. BUT, if we understand the principles, then we know not only what to look for but what to do. Victory comes in ‘understanding’ and ‘obedience’.
In the text above James tells us to ‘count it all joy when you encounter various trials (temptations)…’ Frankly, that is not only difficult it is impossible WITHOUT some understanding of the Purpose of Temptation in our lives. Have you been tempted? Have you or are you now facing a temptation? Have you succumbed to temptation? If you have you know the sense of guilt that frequently accompanies that stumble although some just shrug it off and declare ‘I’m only human.’
TEMPTATION is something that is ‘common to man.’ It does not matter how old or how young, how spiritual or carnal IT COMES! I am reminded of a story I heard on this about a young man and the keys to the family car.
“Dad, while you were away I came very close to breaking my promise to you about not driving the car during your absence. You left the keys on the kitchen counter and I carried them in my pocket for 3 days fighting temptation. The father replied, “Son, there is nothing like temptation to show you what you WILL DO if you are given the opportunity.”
Temptation can be viewed from three standpoints!
SATAN’S – – He sees it as an opportunity to defeat God’s Purpose. He can only succeed in tempting us in those areas in which we have something in common with him. Jesus said in John 14:30 that the devil had NO CLAIM on Him or on us.
MAN’S – – We see it as a severe test and an attempt to destroy our faith and commitment. We view it as a totally BAD THING. James 1:13-14 is inspirational if we will allow it to be and explains this perfectly.
GOD’S – – It serves a valuable and vital service in the lives of men/women. It reveals at least three things about us – – What we are. Where we stand. What we will be.
TEMPTATION is a factor in both the psychological and spiritual growth process and each of us MUST go through the mountains and valleys of life if we are to become mature individuals capable of living a full, meaningful, and victorious life. Therefore TEMPTATION’S real purpose is ‘always’ to trigger a choice and prove a definitive stand or action. What is your choice?
May God be with you as you go through your day and may your choices be inspired of the Holy Spirit. BLESSINGS!