1 Corinthians 10:13 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I'm reminded that temptation is not a sin, but if yielded to it can become sin. Just as Paul reminds us this is not an uncommon situation that we all deal with. Immediately after His baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He was tempted for forty days and forty nights. The writer of Hebrews reminds us of a very important fact regarding temptation.
Hebrews 4:15 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
One of our natural tendencies is to blame others when we yield to temptation. In fact, some people even try to blame God, but He is never the source of temptation. James 1:13 says, “He Himself does not tempt anyone.” Satan is the ultimate tempter. He even uses other people to lead us astray. However, we can never claim that Satan or anyone else made us sin because we are the ones who chose to yield to the temptation.
Dr. Charles Stanley has some important facts dealing with temptation. False ideas about temptation We know that any area of captivity can carry additional consequences.
1. Temptation is not a sin. Jesus’ experience clearly demonstrates this. He was tempted yet never sinned (Matt. 4:1-8). We don’t always have control over thoughts that enter our minds, but we do have a choice to hold onto the thought or to let it pass.
2. We don’t fall into temptation. The enemy doesn’t push us into his trap, nor do we accidentally fall into it. Although we may be prompted by the devil or influenced by others, the decision to step out of God’s will is our own.
3. The Lord isn’t displeased when we’re tempted. He knows temptations will come, and He wants us to see them as alarms that warn us to watch where we’re going.
4. We can’t always run from it. Sometimes fleeing from temptation is the best option, but sometimes running away is impossible. We must build our defenses, so we won’t yield to the tempter.
An important aspect of resisting temptation is recognizing and guarding our weak spots. First, we need to make absolute decisions regarding what we will not tolerate in our lives. Then we should rely on God’s promise to put limits on our temptations (1 Cor. 10:13). And finally, we must seriously consider the consequences of yielding.