You may remember the television show some years ago which featured the humorous dialog of comedian Flip Wilson. He played a very funny character, who constantly became involved in situations that were recognized by the audience as wrong, but all too familiar in our own lives.
Of course, he carried them too far and then excused his involvement with his popular line: "The devil made me do it." I don't know if he or his writers realized how Biblically correct this line is, because temptation is of the devil (See Matthew 4: 1-11).
Some say that God leads us to temptation, but this is not true. The Bible says, "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 ( James 1:13).
But God does permit us to be tempted ( see Job 1: 6-12), so that we can face temptation, overcome it, and become stronger. " I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one" (1st John 2:14).
Billy Graham tells us: "God never promises to remove temptation from us, for even Christ was subject to it. There is a sense of achievement and assurance that results from victory over temptation that cannot come to us otherwise. Temptation shows what people really are. It does not make us Christian or unchristian. Overcoming does make the Christian stronger, and causes him to discover resources of power ... In times of temptation, Christ can become more real to you than ever."
When I am tempted, when the evil thought enters my mind, I say, "Satan get behind me," and then quote a Bible verse. I may use Romans 6:23, which teaches, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life."
Temptation itself is not sin, but succumbing to it is. Don't let Satan fool you by telling you that whatever the desire (the evil temptation) is, it is not wrong and will not hurt you or anyone else. This is one of his lies, and remember he is the" Father of all lies."
"But remember this -- the wrong desires that come into your life aren't anything new or different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
You may be thinking, "I am a strong person, I certainly know the difference between right and wrong and I can make the right decision when temptation comes." But if you are without Christ, without the Holy Spirit in your life to guide you and keep you from evil, then, the devil has you right where he wants you. He can make things look so good and fill your mind with reasons why these thoughts or actions will be so-o-o good and enjoyable!
"But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" (James 1:14).
Please don't wait until sin has filled your life and made its mark on you, for it will ruin your mind, body and soul! Listen to that still, small voice of God's Spirit calling you to belief and faith in Jesus Christ.
Come home to your heavenly Father while you still can. Don't listen to Satan's lies until your heart and mind are his, and you wake up in hell! God loves you, no matter what you have done, and he will forgive you if you put your faith and belief in Christ.
Please call (770) 603-PRAY, and let us pray for you. Ask for me, Brother James, and leave your phone number and name. I will call you back and arrange to share with you, personally, the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.