Thursday, April 30, 2009

Resisting Temptation

We need to take responsibility for our actions and for our failures. But we can't wallow in them. We need to look for God's way to escape.

From Turning Point devotion -
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. 1 Corinthians 10:13b

The source of one of the greatest insights about temptation is debated, though it is often attributed to the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther: "You can't stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair." If the birds are temptations, we can't prevent their presence in this world. But their presence should never be equated with the obligation to give them a place of residence in our life.

The apostle James gives the clearest description in the Bible of how temptation leads to sin: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (1:13-15). It's clear that we are responsible for allowing ourselves to be "drawn away" from righteousness by our own carnal desires. It is a process—temptation, yielding, birth, spiritual death—that we can stop with God's power.

It's not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to follow after temptation and not take the way of escape God provides.

Holiness is not freedom from temptation, but power to overcome temptation.
G. Campbell Morgan

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