Thursday, April 11, 2013

Temptation (James 1) (Genesis 3:1-8, James 1:12-18, 1 Corinthians 10:13)

"I was thinking of chocolate; but, I got tempted and ate it... Sorry!"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Ok, so I've been praying the Lord would guide me to ways to earn money.  Instead, my husband got 3 new job offers that pay more money.  Thanks be to God!  He started the best job this week.  I'll still keep working (this blog is my ministry).  The transition is a bit scary.  This verse comes to mind:
"6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;"
Philipians 1:6 NKJV

When Jesus was taken captive, Peter denied Him 3 times. Jesus never gives up and forgave him 3 times.  I can sure understand why Peter was tempted to deny Christ.  Swords, torches, soldiers, angry words all filled the area.  I'd be scared too. 

I think for me, other than fear, temptation comes down to not being easily satisfied or content.  There's always a better car, nicer houses, lots of stuff...  Then there's giving up.  I remember one time when I gave up on my faith.  I yelled to God, "Why won't You help me!  I just want to graduate from college!"  Then the still small voice whispered in my heart, "You have two choices, either believe and trust in Me, or be miserable.  It's up to you."

I chose faith.  It seemed so obvious. : )  I graduated in 1983.  I'm back to reading through the book of James.  It's a short book with a powerful punch.  I started it before the Easter Story.  In order to understand temptation, it helps to take a quick look at Adam, Eve and God.

1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Adam and Eve's innocence and freedom did die.  Their fellowship with God was split.

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:1-8 NKJV
People still try and hide from God.  It must've been such a heartbreaking moment for Him.  Jesus is the sacrifice to bring us back to His presence.  No shame, forgiveness.

As a woman, I confess.  I just have to know.  Someone hints at a secret, and I MUST know what it is!  Eve certainly left a lasting impression...  Of course fig leaves didn't satisfy for long, we have so many clothing stores now it's crazy.  You do notice it was the woman who went shopping for clothes first right?  Satan or the devil, is the serpent responsible for the fall of man?  Or was it man's fault?  What if they had simply trusted God and believed His Word?

James 1:12-18

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. 
There are actually 5 crowns in the Bible, the crown of life, rejoicing, incorruptible, righteousness, and glory.  Each crown is a reward we will receive in Heaven.  When we are able to endure temptation, we will receive the crown of life.  I can understand that.  Giving in to temptation brings a guilty conscience, suspicion, looking over our shoulders, not a happy, content life at all.  Sin brings death, steals our joy and peace.  For example, adultery destroys marriages and hearts.  Things are never the same for people when a marriage is broken.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
God's intention was for us to live in innocence and peace.  He walked in the garden and enjoyed Adam and Eve's company.  Before the fall, Adam and Eve had no shame.  They lived happily with each other and the animals.  This verse is so comforting.   Temptation comes to all of us- we're not alone.  It's not just me.

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.
1 Cor 10:13 NKJV


  1. Congrats to you and your husband for landing a good job~Praise the Lord for this! God has sure brought the two of you through many transitions already, and He is worthy of your trust.
    I know it is our human nature to want more "stuff", and then to become disatisfied with all that stuff before long. There are a lot of books out there about people wanting to declutter and live more simply...well, without faith in Jesus nobody will ever know true contentment...I think it was Socrates who wrote:
    Happiness is not in the pursuit of more riches, but in contentment with less." (paraphrased by me;)

    I've learned many lessons (not easy ones) from the book of James...It is a straight shot, that packs a punch!..Glad you are continuing this are so encouraging with this blog :D
    ~God bless~ Lisa

  2. Thanks Lisa : ) James has always been a tough book but it's what we need. Some of the Bible is soft and fluffy and some is right to the point. We are excited about the changes coming but we will need to be really careful financially for awhile. A lot of us are struggling right now so I know we're not alone in it. God has always supplied our needs. God bless so glad it's encouraging! I wanted to share God's Word and also His compassion for us. Have a great day!