1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
About 20 or more years ago I was taught a song during kid’s crusade that went like this:
“Temptation – it’s a tricky time, when doing wrong begins to look just fine!”
I have used that song many times since then when doing kid’s ministry or family devotions at home. It illustrates a powerful truth about what temptation is. Temptation is a time where our hearts are deceived into thinking that sin is worth it. Even though we know the truth – that sin’s pleasures quickly dissolve into guilt and regret – temptation is at times hard to overcome. Here are a few important points to remember about temptation:
- The source of temptation is Satan, not God.
In the verse above we see that God suffers (allows) us to be tempted. He does not tempt us to sin. He tests our faith, but He never tempts us to sin. In the Garden of Eden God set the forbidden tree in the midst of the Garden as a point of choosing for Adam and Eve. The serpent was the one who tempted them, not God.
- Temptation touches every person.
Again, the text said that temptation is common to man. While the avenues of temptation may be different, the areas and appetites in which we are tempted remain the same. Everyone is tempted in these areas: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. All temptations will fall under those categories.
- Temptation is not sin, but giving in to temptation is sin.
Jesus was tempted, yet without sin. I think that is a good enough answer. But I would like to add this statement here: we must make sure we are not allowing ourselves to do things that cause self-inflicted temptation. We need to set up boundaries in areas that we struggle in. How do we do that? Find someone to which we are accountable to. Stay away from people and things that have caused us to fall in the past. The list goes on.
- Finally, God always makes a way for us to escape.
I have heard some say recently that they have prayed for God to take away something they have struggled with, but because they haven’t gotten relief they have chosen to embrace the wrong. God already has provided a way of escape – it is through the cross of Christ. Run to Jesus in the face of temptation. In Him there is relief. Temptation does not have to result in sin. It can result in your victory!