“Will there ever be a time that I won’t be tempted to do the wrong thing?” she asked. I wanted to tell her, yes, but I couldn’t lie to her. We all want to be left alone from the evils that call our name, but it’s through these times we find out who we really are. That is the nature of temptation because God knows our hearts, but He wants us to know our hearts. He wants us to see what we are made of. When the law was given, no man could obey it; until Jesus came to fulfill it. Jesus is still obeying the law today, but He’s doing it inside of us. We like to run blocker and try to obey law but we fail. It was meant for Jesus inside me to obey it all along. He is the only one who can.
James 1:13-15 tells us, “Let no man say when he is temped, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempted anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” The word conceived means you were intimate with it. You like it but then you loved it; we do what we love and we will always be tempted by it because we love it. Birthing brings forth something. Jesus wants to reproduce through us, but so does the devil. (Romans 7:4&5.)
Temptation is a way to get us to forget who we are. For example, when we forget that God is God and we’re not, we fall into thinking we can perform a work to produce fruit for God. It comes down to knowing who you are. Actually, it’s a knowing. There are several things that we know, like our name, the day we were born, where we live the color of our eyes, etc. But somehow we can’t know who we are in Christ or if we are going to heaven or not? I believe we can know by what I read in John 17:3, “this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
We were born dead (in our trespasses and sins) but we need to be alive in order to live, and Jesus is our life. When we have Him, we have life. He doesn’t hand out packets of life to each person, He gives Himself and we receive Him and that is how we live. The two trees in the garden were a picture of life and death. Adam (us) partook of the wrong tree and died. It was the tree of life that we partake of now, through Jesus Christ. Hey, we should “count it all joy that we fall into divers’ temptations, knowing this, the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” We must be tempted so that we discover what is in us and it gives us our character. Plus, every time we are faced with temptation, Jesus gets the victory over Satan and others get to witness the testimony. After teaching this at the jail, there is a better understanding of looking forward for the next opportunity to let faith operate its’ victory.
The two ladies I talked with are ones I have shared with you before. One is Lester; she has been coming to the church service each time I have been there. When we are done counseling, she always wants to pray. You may not think this is a big deal, but it is huge. I am so pleased with what the Lord is doing in her life. She has come a long way and she says she is giving her life to God.
The second lady I talked with is Cali and she’s struggling with what is blocking her way to salvation. I feel like the Lord showed her it is her Jehovah Witness family background. She doesn’t want to disappoint them, but she knows Jesus is the truth and desperately wants Him in her life, she said this to me through tears. I know God has a plan, and the road for her is going to be one she will never forget.
One thing I shared with both these ladies tonight is how once you have crossed over the Red sea, even though the temptation is there, you can never go back to your old life. And why would you want to?
Let temptation come, Jesus always gives us a way of escape. It is common to man, after all.