• Joe Norton

Understanding Temptation (11/13/2022)

Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:13-14).

Temptation is a natural part of life; the word means “the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” In a spiritual context, it refers to a desire to do something that is a violation of scripture.

James makes it clear that temptation does not come from God but rather from within the heart of an individual as he or she responds to the stimulus of everyday life. We develop a desire for something around us, and we allow it to develop into an “over desire.” And, if we allow it to conceive, it can become a controlling factor in our lives.

It is not a sin to be tempted: even the Savior of the universe suffered temptation. It is a sin, however, to allow a temptation to stay within our hearts long enough to develop into an “over desire.” To prevent such from happening, we follow Jesus’ example in that we call to mind scriptures that are designed to pull us away from the temptation; and, then, we get ourselves away from the source of the temptation.

The scriptures describe Satan as one who walks about seeking all who will give in to his enticements. His desire is for us to give in to temptation so that we can be drawn away from God and operate our lives independently of God—then he can claim success.