Temptation Part 4: Source

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.–James 1:13

All week I’ve been discussing temptation. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Nobody who sins can throw the blame on God. God may test us in order to strengthen our faith, but never with the intent of leading us to sin. The nature of God shows that He cannot be a source of temptation.

It is us, who falls into sin with temptation. James goes on to say in verse 14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” We are the ones susceptible to Satan’s temptations because of our sinful nature and its evil desires. If evil desire is not resisted by the help of the Holy Spirit, it leads to sin and then to spiritual death.

It’s our heart that is evil. Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” God may use trials to build our spiritual character, but he always gives us a way out. We should remember that Jesus was tempted. Just because we’re tempted doesn’t mean we have to fail. I hate chocolate with a passion (yeah, I know I’m weird), and someone can try to pressure me to eat it, which is tempting me, but I have no desire for it. Now if you tried to pressure me with starbursts, that’s a different story. That would take some will power not to eat it. The temptation the devil uses is the same, if we don’t desire it, it’s easy for us to say we don’t want it, however, as it says in Matthew 15:19 our heart is evil and desires what we are tempted with.

When we look at temptation like the example with me and chocolate verses starbursts, it gives a different perspective on what temptation is and how we choose to reject it or fall into sin. We are the ones that make the decision, just like any decision we have. We must pray that God helps us cleanse out the evil desires in our heart so that we can reject the temptations we are faced with.

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