Does God Tempt People?? – TEMPTATION [11]

When considering the question, Who or What Tempts Me?, it would seem that most of us could quickly list off a few offenders –

  • Situations around me
  • TV
  • What I read
  • Music I listen to
  • People – friends, family, etc.

However, you may be surprised when you hear the unlikely suspects the Bible gives in answer to this question.

Most importantly, we need to understand that God DOES NOT tempt usRemember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is NEVER tempted to do wrong, and He NEVER tempts anyone else. – James 1:13

HOWEVER, and this is where it gets a little sticky, God may allow us to be tempted.

This is when we run into our first unlikely suspect – SATAN.  Unlikely, because people don’t see Satan, therefore, they often don’t believe that he actually exists.  We can equate Satan’s existence to the wind.  We don’t actually see wind, but we certainly feel it’s effects.
Satan, in the same way, is actively at work, day in and day out, looking for ways to mess us up.

1.  Satan watches people

“Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” – Job 1:7

This video clip of a drone hovering unnoticed over the unsuspecting people in the City of Chicago is how I imagine Satan patrolling the earth.

2. Satan pursues people

Not only does Satan watch what’s going on, he is also persistence in his pursuit of turning people from God.

(Keep in mind that Satan pursues God-followers, not non-God-followers.  Why??  Jesus answers this question when he is challenged by the Pharisees after healing a demon possessed man in Matthew 12:22-30.  Jesus says in verse 30, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”  So Satan doesn’t bother with non-God-followers because they are already on his “team”.)

In the story of Job, we have a Biblical example of Satan’s persistence  –  see Job 1:1-11

Satan says to God, “You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” – Job 1:10-11

gods protection

And then we have God’s shocking response to Satan’s request, “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. – Job 1:12.  Then in the remaining chapters in the Book of Job we read how Satan stripped Job of his family and worldly comforts.

SAY WHAT????

Here’s the upside —

God does not give Satan free rein to do as he pleases. We see one example of this in the story of Job, “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses (his stuff), but don’t harm him physically.” – Job 1:12, nor in our lives. God puts restrictions on Satan.

3.  Satan offers craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions – 1 John 2:15-17

Unfortunately, Satan is not easily deterred.  In fact, he is so bold that he even tempts Jesus!! – Matthew 4:1-11.  In Matthew 4:3 Tempter is used as a synonym for Satan.

temptation-of-jesus

For more on this, see my post — What Is Driving Our Temptations??  –  TEMPTATION – [7], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-yx

In this post we’ve talked about unlikely tempting suspect #1 – Satan.  However, there is another unlikely suspect you may not have considered –  See post – My Own Worst Enemy??  –  TEMPTATION [12]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-AR

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

The Battle Is On…  –  TEMPTATION [10]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-A3

My Own Worst Enemy??  –  TEMPTATION [12]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-AR

———————————

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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

 

Are ALL People Tempted to “Do” Wrong?? – TEMPTATION [5]

DOES EVERYONE EXPERIENCE TEMPTATION?

A definite, undeniable – YES !!!!

Even though we want to “do” what is right/godly, we may find ourselves thinking negatively, or doing what we know is wrong. Thinking negatively of other people, doing wrong in situations or circumstances we find ourselves in, or maybe allowing ungodly thoughts to take root in our minds.

No one is above being tempted, even Jesus.  He was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness, yet He did not sin.  Read the account of Jesus’ encounter with Satan in Matthew 4:1-11.

                                temptation_of_ jesus_10

 

The Apostle Paul, formally Saul, who had an awesome/awestruck encounter with God on his way to imprison Christ followers in Damascus, shared his own struggle with his “flesh” (sinful nature) vs. the spirit (godly choices), and he wrote,

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. – Romans 7:15

I have discovered this principle of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. –  Roman 7:21-23

      Romans07v15to25a_2005

 

***BE ENCOURAGED!!  ALL IS NOT LOST***

God does not leave us alone in a cold, desolate wasteland.

Be reminded that:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When,
(not if), you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.1 Corinthians
10:13

God will provide you with grace and strength, in your unique situation, using your unique personality, to show you a way to out.  To give you the courage to SAY

Crowds of people protested against environment pollution in outdoor

Pray

Lord, don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:13

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

A Sneak Preview – Can I Resist Temptation??  –  TEMPTATION [4],   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-xc

RESPONSE TO READER’S COMMENT – Are ALL People Tempted to “Do” Wrong??  –  TEMPTATION [5] – [6],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-xZ

What Is Driving Our Temptations??  –  TEMPTATION – [7],   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-yx

 

  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with the God??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

 

Where Does My Desire to “Push the Envelope” Come From?? – TEMPTATION [3]

WHERE DOES TEMPTATION COME FROM?

In Mark 7:21-22, we learn that temptation is inside of us, in our thoughts.  For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

                              evilheartout

 

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.  – James 1:14-15

                        Temptation-Cycle

 

HOPE FOR GOD-FOLLOWERS…

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. And afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

                               Crown

 

 

AN IMPORTANT FACT TO REMEMBER:

  •  As long we are on earth, and in our physical bodies, we can expect to experience temptation.

EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

  •   We don’t have to give into temptation. 

Temptation in and of its self is NOT a sin.  It becomes a sin once my sinful thoughts become actions.

 

** FOR MORE POSTS ON TEMPTATION SEE LINKS BELOW **

Are My Urges and Desires a Sin??  –  TEMPTATION [2],   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-vY

A Sneak Preview – How Can I Resist Temptation??  –  TEMPTATION [4],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-xc

 

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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

Stress – Chance or Choices?? – PROVERBS 5 [5]

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16

 

9    If you do, you will lose your honor
      and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10  Strangers will consume your wealth,
       and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11  In the end you will groan in anguish
      when disease consumes your body.
12  You will say, “How I hated discipline!
       If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13  Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
       Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14  I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
     and now I must face public disgrace.

We left off in Proverbs 5:1-9 with:  –   (see previous post, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-dA)

7  Never stray from what I am about to say:
Stay away from her!
    Don’t go near the door of her house!

Continuing to v.9 above, Solomon warns about losing your honor and what you’ve achieved.

I’ll use the example of engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage.  Purity is one gift that can never be re-gifted. If we choose to give our “gift” of purity, intended as a special ”gift” to our spouse on our wedding night, to someone who is likely a passing infatuation, we lose the opportunity to give that “gift” again.

                            true_love_waits    

Or, in the case of a marriage covenant that has been violated by an adulteress affair.  The trust, respect, and the relationship as a whole, has been forever changed.  And if a divorce is the result of the adulteress affair, this leads to distribution of wealth – child support, ex-spousal maintenance, and verse 10, someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.                                 Sadly, the fruits of your labor, are not solely enjoyed as one family, but rather must be divided up between your present “family” and your ex-family.

                                         gty_exchanging_money_ll_111104_wg

Verse 11 goes on to say that, disease consumes your body.
This could come in many forms, but the one that I think of immediately is stress.  Stress takes a devastating toll on a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Life, in general, can be stressful. But when WE MAKE choices contrary to God’s guidance, it only compounds our stress.

                                   497001603.jpeg

What got us into this mess?

  •  v. 12 – I hated discipline. I ignored all the warnings!
  • v. 13 – I didn’t listen to my teachers or instructors

The result?

  • v. 14 – now I must face public disgrace (face the consequences of my choices – my add)

We see in the verses 1-11, not to mention the 4 previous chapters in Proverbs, warning after warning. (See posts under Categories – Proverbs 1-4 – sidebar on computer view and bottom of page on mobile view). Each one given to us for our protection.

However, when our pride says, “____ can’t happen to me, it’s no big deal, everyone else is doing it, it’s all under control, I’m fine,…”  yet I find myself in a “BIG mess”, if I dare…  I can look back and see that with every step I took,  I HAD a choice, and I MADE a choice.  A choice to follow my way or God’s way.

Unfortunately, that same “I” who made those choices, trusting in myself vs my Creator, is now stuck with the consequences.

In the above verses, the consequences are negative.  But had “I” listened to, and accepted God’s loving discipline, the results would been positive and fulfilling.

                                               ityourchoice

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