There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV
Temptations common to man such as alcohol, gambling, money, possessions, and making it to the top like a CEO of a corporation seem to be common today, yet these and other types of temptations can lead to an addiction and even death. The simple definition of temptation is a strong pleasurable desire/urge or impulse to do something. It is a short-term gratification that can be harmful in the long-term for it affects others as well as can lead to death such as a person overdosing on drugs. Temptation plays upon an individual’s mind and becomes an obsession. It disrupts your daily routine because you cannot get it out of your mind. If we look at verse 14 of 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul associates temptation to idolatry, which is the worship of an object, or thing. Such as a top-of-the-line car like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, or a movie idol like John Wayne or Harrison Ford.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.James 1:14-15 KJV
In the book of James, we can gain a better understanding what temptation does. First, James tells us that every man is tempted. I have not heard of anyone who is not tempted to steal, lie, or cheat, have you? Second James tells us we are drawn away by our own lust. The meaning of lust in James comes from the Greek word “epithumia,” which mean strong desire of any kind. The attraction of pleasure that consumes us can become idol worship. The object or thing is controlling you rather than you are controlling the object or thing. That is why it brings forth death because you are no longer in control, and many times it really does lead to physical death such as drugs and alcohol. The bible tells us to flee from idolatry, youthful lust, and fornication [see 1Corinthians 10:14, 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22]. However, the apostle Paul tells us that God will make a way out of any temptation we may find ourselves in.
We must ask God through prayer to help us get out of temptation. Jesus tells us to watch and pray that we do not enter temptation because he knew that our spirit was willing, but our flesh is weak [see Matthew26:41]. Now we need to watch and pray to receive a way out. Confess your sin to God, for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [1 John 1:9]. Beware of any temptation with an “if” in it such as If you do this, I will do this, or if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Just read about Jesus’ temptation from Satan and the “if” factor to be tempted into pleasure, power, or wealth [see Matthew 4:1-11]. Know that anything or object that takes you away from Jesus as your focal point is directing you down a path away from God. The apostle Paul tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices and many today do not realize the danger they are putting themselves into when following other people or desiring riches and wealth.
We must believe that God will provide for our every need, but at times it seems we want to help ourselves and forget about the consequences of our actions. Our God can help us purge our desires and to help free us from Satan’s hold upon us. Any kind of temptation we fall into is to be considered carefully by watching and praying.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.James 1:2
It is hard to consider any temptation as joyful because it just does not feel joyous when we know we are being tempted. James tells us it is the trying of our faith to stay true to the path of our calling in Christ Jesus. That going through temptation will bring patience and that it is God’s perfect work in that we come to a place of not wanting nothing [James 1:3-4]. Have you ever considered the wording “wanting nothing.”? If we are secure in our position in Christ, we should not lack nothing, for He is our life. This gives us something to ponder upon that when we put our faith in God, we can endure temptation and God will see us through it and provide a way out. We may need to reconsider by evaluating what we are following today, and if that is taking the place of following our Lord. May God help us to see what thing or object is holding us and help us to relinquish it into the Lord’s hand. Cleanse our desire’s Lord and help us to become the people you want us to be. Help us Lord to watch and pray that we are not lead into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen [Matthew 6:13].