Paradise Calvary Chapel

Devotionals

Temptation
Gary Boucher - March 5, 2018
Devotional

After blowing it again, I was feeling terrible, a failure.  I felt like Paul when he said "Oh wretched man that I am" (Romans 7:24).  I wondered why we have to have these sinful natures.  Wouldn't it be nice if we lost the sinful nature when we were born again?

When Jesus was a baby, we're told He was wrapped in swaddling cloths.  They would wrap babies in swaddling cloths for 2 reasons.  First, it kept their arms and legs out of harms way.  Second, the resistance would stregthen the babies muscles.

Then I thought of our sinful natures are kind of like swaddling cloths.  The more we resist the temptation, the stronger we get.  The sinful nature is always putting pressure on us  When a temptation comes along and we resist it, we become stronger.  If God did take away our sinful natures, how would He know we were obedient to Him, how would we know?  So I concluded that we actually need the temptations.  They make us stronger.  James 1:12 tell us that enduring temptations leads us to receiving the crown of life!

We have an awesome promise 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".

Sadly, we don't always make use of this escape clause and we stumble again.  So how do we keep from stumbling?  I think one good way is prayer.  Jesus tells us in the Lord's prayer to ask not to be led into temptation.  Again, while Jesus is praying in the garden, just before He is arrested, He tells His disciples to watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation, (Matthew 26:41).

Job stated another way in Job 31:1 where he makes a covenant with his eyes not to look at tempting things.  That works, I try not to look at donuts.  If David wasn't spying on Bathsheba from his rooftop, he would have been spared a lot of grief.

Another way is to think of worthy things as mentioned in Philippians 4:8.  If we meditate on worthy things, temptations will be crowded out.  "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16)

Confession is another way.  James 5:16 "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed, the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  I know what you're thinking.  If I confess my sins to someone, what happens if they tell someone else?  Your pride may take a hit and that is a good thing!