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Three Secrets About TemptationsSample

Three Secrets About Temptations

DAY 3 OF 3

Temptations overtake you but during the entire process, God remains faithful. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful.

At this point, the verse transitions from your past to the present, from “has overtaken” to “God is faithful.” 

1 Corinthians 10:13 lies in the middle of chapter which outlines many of the tragic sins of Israel during their 40 years of wilderness wandering including idolatry, widespread sexual immorality, testing God, and “lusting after evil things.” Then right in the middle of this passage you’ll find something you never would have expected.  A third entity is introduced. First your temptations, then you, and now God.  

Temptations have overtaken all of us, “but God.”  Who would have expected God would be involved in this chapter on temptations and sin and failure?  But God did what?  Before explaining this “but God” I would like to underscore one major point a bit deeper. 

Earlier I underscored that temptations are not a sin in any way because Jesus Himself was tempted in all ways but without sin. It’s not until you are fully free from the false guilt about being tempted—not just tempted for “little” sins, but even for very wicked temptations for adultery, murder, and idolatry—that you can be fully released to understand and walk in this truth next set of truths.  Temptations, no matter what sin you are tempted to commit, are never, never, a sin!  They aren’t half sins. They aren’t sinful a little bit.  No sin resides in temptations.  Temptations seek to lure us to sin, but they are not sin itself.  Separate completely two related but independent ideas:  Temptations are not sins.  Temptations are not sinful.  Temptations are not you.  

Therefore, you should have absolutely no guilt about being tempted.  

Being tempted isn’t anything to feel shame or self-hatred.  Temptations are simply God-given desires that seek to push you beyond the line God drew in the sand, “You may walk up to this line, but do not go beyond it.”  That’s what the word “transgress” means, to go beyond an established standard.  

It’s only when you accept this powerful Biblical truth, that you will be free to approach God realizing that He is not upset that you are being tempted!  Our temptations are not viewed in heaven as a negative, they simply are the normal plight of mankind.  

Let me prove that to you.  Think about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  When Satan tempted Eve, this occurred before Adam or Eve had sinned.  She didn’t sin when she wrestled with the temptation, but only sinned when she willfully chose to embrace the temptation and take the forbidden fruit.  She was tempted before there was sin! 

Whenever we aren’t sinning, then we aren’t sinning. Experiencing a temptation is never a sin.  In fact, if you choose not to submit to your temptation, you are pleasing the Lord. While you were feeling temptation, you weren’t displeasing God!  While you struggled deeply with a given temptation, every moment of that struggle was not displeasing to God!  The struggle with temptation isn’t a sin.  

In fact, as shocking as it may seem, you’ll soon discover that God Himself is very involved in process of your temptation. But James 1:13 makes it clear beyond any question, God is never the cause of any of your temptations:  

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 God” is in direct contrast to “temptations overtake you.”  “Temptations overtake you” is in direct opposition to “But God!”  The temptations seek your sin, while God seeks your victory over temptation. 

Even your most powerful temptations are no match for your all-powerful God.  

“But God” is…what?  What characteristic does God want us to remember about Him when we are faced with our irritating and unwanted temptations?  Think about it, who wakes up in the morning hoping that 

“Today, I hope to be strongly tempted for all kinds of sins”? 

The verse continues with “But God is faithful” and then gives the unexpected and stunning reasons that prove His enduring faithfulness to us.  

Faithful means to be loyal, true to one’s word and promises, steady in allegiance or affection, thorough in the performance of duty. Why is God’s faithfulness brought into the topic of our temptations? Because God commanded us in 1 Peter 1:15-16:

But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  

The greatest hindrance to our holiness is our sin; the precursor to every one of our sins is nothing less than our temptations. 

No temptation, no sin; temptation, the potential to sin.  

Think about it: What happens if our temptations are too over-powering? Or if we are too weak one day for one reason or another? Or if we try with all our heart but cannot find a way not to sin?  Or what happens if our temptations never stop in one area, for minutes, hours, or days on end and we just cannot bear it any longer?

What kind of God would we have if on one hand He commands us to be “holy” and then on the other hand allows temptations to overpower us?  But God is faithful, right in the middle of our temptations.  That’s why you must accept that your temptations are not sinful but normal. The Bible teaches that God’s faithfulness to us causes Him to intervene on our behalf when we are tempted. As 2 Peter 2:9a states, 

The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations.  

Need more ammo against those temptations? We hear you! You can grab Bruce's full book "Overcoming Temptation" right here at this link> 

Day 2

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