“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
There’s always something you can do to overcome temptation. There’s always a diversion to distract you from displeasing your Lord and God, to help you keep His holy commandments. Temptation always starts with desire. We must lay straight paths for our feet and train ourselves in the paths of righteousness so that when temptation comes our desire for God is greater than for the sin that easily infests us.
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
The Apostle James explains it here. Our own inbuilt desire for sin, grows the lust for sinning in our hearts and minds and we are tempted to do wrong. The desire pulls us away from the Lord and tries to tell us that it is ok to do this thing we want to do, and so we find ways to justify our sin in our minds. We excuse ourselves and the desire for God gets less, until finally we acquiesce to the wrong and do what we want to do. We carry out the wrong deed, it takes over our lives eventually and hardens the heart against the Lord and we become out and out sinners. Sin always brings death, and our relationship with the Lord ends up in tatters. We no longer want to please Him, and our testimony is tarnished. We cannot be lost to Him, and He will find a way to bring us back to Himself, but the sparkle has gone for now.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of His creation.”
We have substituted our spiritual walk with the Lord, for some tawdry things we wanted, or some person, rather than walking with God. We have been deceived. All that is good comes for the Lord, and He denies us nothing that is not for our good and best welfare. He has given us the privilege and power of spiritual life, and we throw it over for some foolish idea we have in our minds, or some pet lust that easily fills our hearts. We are the first fruits of a new and beautiful creation that will last forever in eternity, and we want some cheap thing in this life, rather than the reality of heaven’s glory.
“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.”
We are required simply to obey. We look at ourselves portrayed in the Word of God, and realise we are not good enough, and God requires that we walk godly and honourable lives with Him. The danger comes for us, when we think we don’t want that any more and there is better for us somewhere else. We think our desires lead us in right ways, and that the fulfilment of them will make us happy. God tells us that is not right thinking, but to keep to His paths is life and peace. If we follow Him, we become strong in the Lord and effective doers of the Word. God will bless us in what we do.
We must prepare our minds for action and keep carefully to the pathway laid out for us in Scripture, so we must know the Scripture and know the Lord. Our desires should be for Him, and so we feed these desires and this keeps the wrong desires at bay. God will give us things to do that will help us and keep us loving righteous lives for His glory and not our own.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good conduct, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast in it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.”
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peace-loving, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap the fruit of righteousness.”