When you are tempted, whom do you blame? Do you blame God? Do you blame Satan? Do you blame principalities and rulers of darkness?
Is temptation a sin? When you are tempted, do you feel you have sinned? Do you consider why you are able to be tempted, or how you can work around it?
First, we know that God is not the source of our temptations.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
That verse also makes another point. We are drawn away of our own lust and enticed. We are in effect trapped by our own sin nature. Think about it. If you don‘t lust after something, you won’t be nearly as likely to go after it.
Second, we know that it is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
You cannot control whether or not someone tempts you. You can control your reaction to it. You do not have to give in. You may also have a chance to flee, which brings us to our third point.
We know that God is faithful to provide for us.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
When we are tempted, we need to remember that the propensity to sin is within ourselves. Sometimes the best way to avoid it is to literally run – a way of escape!
I’ve often said when faced with adversity that if I don’t pass the test, I’ll see it again. Perhaps the reason I will see it again has to do with what is inside. We fall short. Until we overcome that shortcoming, we will have to deal with it again and again.
How about you? Is there a test you need to pass? Is there a lesson you need to learn? Trials and tribulations are allowed in our life to teach us. What lessons do you need to learn today?
If temptations are anticipated, it is simplest to avoid them altogether. An example of avoidance would be that I don’t often buy cookies because I know how quickly I will eat them all. Are there any situational temptations you can avoid?
Flight is always an option too. Joseph fled from his master’s house when his master’s wife grabbed his garment. He got out of there before something happened. Walking away – if not running – is also a strategy worth remembering.