Summary: Temptation is not from God, who gives us good and perfect gifts and the resources to resist temptation
I think it is very clear that when we face trials, they are for are own good? Anybody question that? Because if you do, you will not face them the way God wants you to face them and the result is that you will never be the kind of mature Christian He wants you to be. But did you ever stop and think that there may be another kind of trial that is not for our good? As a matter of fact it is for the very purpose of getting you to depart from the will of God. I’m talking about temptations. A temptation is something, or someone who’s very purpose is to try to get you from not trusting and following God’s will for you.
I was facing one as I was working on this message yesterday; I got sleepy and wanted to sleep for a couple of hours. I’ll wait until I finish this message before I sleep.
Let me give you some examples of temptations. You’re a student and you have a report due next week. You haven’t worked on it at all. You are writing a report on 777’s. OK, you’re on the internet, and you find one of the informational websites that gives you all the information you need on a 777. It is excellently written. It might even get you an “A” in that class. Nobody will know, you think. So you download the article, copy it and turn it in for your report.
Or you’re a student and you have a test. You really haven’t studied like you know you should. A friend who is in your class comes up and says, “I have a copy of the test. I’ll let you have it for $100.00.” You need to make an “A” in that class so why not. Or better yet, you decide to sit next to the student where you can see his paper and copy his answers.
This one is just for men. You’re on the internet and you see an advertisement for a pornographic website. You’re home all alone and no one will know.
I know, because I’ve faced every one of these situations I just described. These are not trials designed for your personal growth. Well let me put it this way. You can grow if you respond to them in the right way. But what you are facing is not something intended for your growth. If you give in to the temptation and go against God’s will, then you have yielded to temptation.
Let me say it again. Temptation is anything or anyone that will try to get you to go agains the will of God and sin. It is important that you can distinguish between a trial and a temptation. When you are faced with a temptation (and we all are), there are 2 things we need to remember.
First we need to remember that the temptation is not of God. Verse 13 tells us this.
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
The problems is that we often think it is of God. For example have you ever heard this one? Often you’ll hear these words from a married man. “God must want us together. He would not have put us in the same office if He didn’t.” Or, “It must be OK, if I steal that iPod Nano from Yamada Denki. No one is looking.
Whenever you feel this way remember this. The temptation you are facing is not of God. Let me say it again. The temptation you are facing is not of God. You know why? Because God is not capable of being tempted. I’ll show you why later. But for right now, remember God cannot be tempted and He Himself does not tempt anyone. Who is the one who does tempt you?
Let me give you little anatomy course and explain exactly what happens when you are tempted.
James 1:14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
All of us have evil desires lurking within us. They are not of God. They are a result of living in a world tainted by sin, and having an evil nature that does not want to please God. There is another word for evil desire. Does anyone know what that word is? It’s lust. It’s wanting something you know you can’t have. For example I have to walk by 7-11 on the way to and from church. Often in the windows I see magazines with pictures of very beautiful women on the front. If I spend time looking at it, I find myself wanting it, so I go into 7-11 and buy it. Nobody from church is here, I’ll say after taking a quick look around. So I get the magazine, go home and read it, and it gives me some websites, I go looking at on the internet. Or I’m in Akihabara. I walk past several video stores with pictures and videos of beautiful women. I want to go in and see them. Again, nobody is with me, nobody will know, it’s my holiday anyway.