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Where does TEMPTATION come from?

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.'  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed."   James 1:13-14


All of us fight temptations.  We fight temptations to eat things we shouldn't eat.  We fight temptations to look at things we shouldn't look at.  We fight temptations to hear things we shouldn't hear.  We fight temptations to say things we shouldn't say.  We fight temptations to do things we shouldn't do.  Wouldn't life be so much easier if we just found out where the temptations came from and then got rid of it, or him, or her?  Some people blame others for their temptations.  Some people even blame God for their temptations.  However, God's Word tells us the exact root of our temptations.  James 1:14 says, "Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by THEIR OWN EVIL DESIRE and enticed."  Many of the temptations we battle each and every day come from within.  That is why Jesus, in Luke 9:23, said that the we must "deny ourselves and take up the cross daily" if we want to follow Him.  Many of the temptations we battle each and every day come from the father of lies, as well.  Jesus told the people in John 8:44, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."  Jesus also tells the people in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."  One place temptation doesn't come from is God!  James 1:13 says, "For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone."  Many times, I believe, we get temptations and tests confused.  God will never lead anyone to do anything that is counter to His good and perfect will.  God will test us time and time again, even with trials.  James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."  In James 1:3, we read, "You know the testing of your faith produces perseverance."  God uses TESTS in our lives to bring us closer to Him and closer to His good and perfect will.  Satan uses TEMPTATIONS to take us further from God and further from His good and perfect will.  We need to repent of our sins and ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of our evil desires that lead to temptation.  We need to ask God to replace our fleshly desires for this earth with spiritual desire for Him.  When we give way to Satan's tempting and our own tempting, we become enslaved to the things that bring destruction and death.  James 1:15 goes on to say, "Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."  But thank God for Jesus, in whom we have the forgiveness of sins.  Thank God for the Holy Spirit, who indwells us.  That is why we can cry out what 1 John 4:4 says: "We are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world!"

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