The Devil Didn't Make Me Do It

Thursday, October 22, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 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. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

We all need the blessing that comes with enduring temptation. Enduring temptation is simply not doing the wrong thing we are tempted to do. In other words, we don't "cave in" to the pressure. We choose not to sin against God.

The "crown of life" is not salvation. It is a special reward or approval of God for believers who love Him enough to resist temptation.

It is human nature to make excuses or play the blame game when we come up short. When God confronted Adam about sinning in the Garden of Eden, he said, "That woman you gave me made me do this." In other words Adam said, "God, that woman has a problem and you have a problem." However, as James said, God is not the tempter.

If God is not the tempter, that would leave the devil, right? Wrong! Satan is a tempter only to the degree that he "sets up" people. The devil is like the bartender, he just serves up what people want.

You will note that in the entirety of James Chapter One, the devil is not mentioned at all. So the excuse of "The devil made me do it" is unacceptable. The text clearly states in verse 14, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by HIS OWN DESIRES (or "lust") and enticed." Note the words, "his [our] own desires."

Now here is the ultimate slippery slope: If we let desire/lust "conceive," we will most certainly slide into a sinful act. Thoughts are not sin. If we continue to think a certain way, that thought gets planted into the hyper-fertile garden of our passions, desires, and carnal (fleshly) nature. This garden always and instantly "conceives" an action.

The key to victory over temptation is not in "fighting it," but it quickly moving our thoughts and actions to something godly and useful. Take the "escape" exit. Pray, praise, quote scripture, go cut the grass, clean the garage, or something.

Stay off the slippery slope and don't pretend that you are above sliding if you go there.

Remember these words from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; 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, that you may be able to bear it".