Understanding Your Temptations (2)
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation.” Jas 1:12 NKJV
The second misperception is: Temptation is sin. The Devil wants you to blame yourself for the temptations you experience. Why? Because when you believe that you are the source of it, you feel condemned and discouraged. As you indulge in feelings of discouragement, you become an easy prey and Satan convinces you to go ahead and yield to the temptation. Ironically, you yield to sin through the fear of having already fallen. No, the temptation itself isn’t sin, the sin only occurs when you yield to it! Many of us feel like we’re spiritually deficient, distant from God, even phonies because we think we initiated the temptation ourselves. Imagine a burglar in your house, and when you detect him he accuses you of being the burglar! Would you believe him? Of course not! Yet that’s Satan’s approach with us. After he tempts us, he accuses with thoughts like “A real Christian would never have such thoughts!” Knowing our own weakness, his accusations sound plausible and we believe him. Then we feel condemned, spiral into discouragement, and yield to the temptation. Understand this: Condemnation comes from Satan (See 1Ti 3:6). The Bible says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Ro 8:1 NIV). When Satan sends temptation, the Holy Spirit goes to work in us helping us to reject his suggestions and reminding us of Jesus’ availability to help us triumph. “Because Jesus was tempted as we are…He understands us and He is able to help us when we are tempted” (See Heb 2:18). So when you’re tempted, reject Satan’s condemnation and reach for Christ’s overcoming assistance.