Monday, December 3, 2007
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.
There has been sin in my life that I've sought to overcome as does every true believer who seeks to mortify their flesh. For so long, though, I think I made the mistake of looking to how my sanctification was coming along to judge if I'd overcome it yet. When I would fall right back into it, of course, I would get very down and almost hopeless because I felt like there would never be a point where I would be free from it. All the while, I was looking to my sanctification and not to God, and I believe this has been my foremost mistake. I even think I became somewhat bitter towards God as a result of my thinking and deception. I can remember when I was younger, I would wonder "why God was tempting me so much and not the godly ones." When I would fall back into sin, even though I wasn't aware of it, inwardly I believe I was saying, "Well, I guess I haven't done enough so God is going to tempt me again until I do right." That mentality is the complete antithesis of what is taught in Scripture. God never has tempted any person, and He never will. Let that sink in. He does, however, allow us to fall into various trials that our belief in Him may be tried and strong. (James 1:2-3) The truth has helped me overcome so many obstacles in my life, and by the Truth is actually the only way to overcome them all. As our Lord says, "You will know the truth... and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)
Every time I or anyone else who has existed has ever done evil, it is not a result of God's temptation. It is result of being led away by our own lust and deleazō (baited, beguiled, allured, enticed, and deceived). Don't look to yourself to overcome your sin because more than likely, you are looking to the very thing that tempted you to become entangled with it in the first place. God sent His only begotten Son born of a virgin to shed his blood upon a tree so he could become a curse for us who are under the curse of the law and who believe in him. It is a fact set in history. Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. Look to Him instead. God has never tempted you or anyone else, and He never will.