September 17: Is There Good in Temptation?

Daily devotionals from Oswald Chambers

September 17: Is There Good in Temptation?

Postby Wesley » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:53 pm

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man… —1 Corinthians 10:13

The word temptation has come to mean something bad to us today, but we tend to use the word in the wrong way. Temptation itself is not sin; it is something we are bound to face simply by virtue of being human. Not to be tempted would mean that we were already so shameful that we would be beneath contempt. Yet many of us suffer from temptations we should never have to suffer, simply because we have refused to allow God to lift us to a higher level where we would face temptations of another kind.

A person’s inner nature, what he possesses in the inner, spiritual part of his being, determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation fits the true nature of the person being tempted and reveals the possibilities of his nature. Every person actually determines or sets the level of his own temptation, because temptation will come to him in accordance with the level of his controlling, inner nature.

Temptation comes to me, suggesting a possible shortcut to the realization of my highest goal— it does not direct me toward what I understand to be evil, but toward what I understand to be good. Temptation is something that confuses me for a while, and I don’t know whether something is right or wrong. When I yield to it, I have made lust a god, and the temptation itself becomes the proof that it was only my own fear that prevented me from falling into the sin earlier.

Temptation is not something we can escape; in fact, it is essential to the well-rounded life of a person. Beware of thinking that you are tempted as no one else— what you go through is the common inheritance of the human race, not something that no one has ever before endured. God does not save us from temptations— He sustains us in the midst of them (see Hebrews 2:18 and Hebrews 4:15-16).
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September 17: Is There Good in Temptation?

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Re: September 17: Is There Good in Temptation?

Postby Wesley » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:56 pm

Temptation itself is not sin


I've never been able to believe that trope. To want to do something evil and wrong is itself sin. To look on someone with lust is to want to perform acts that you're not actually doing. The want, the desire, is enough to be sinful. If one was perfect, the want to do sin would not exist. Christ was tempted, but the word means "tested" as in: Christ was tested with the opportunities for sin but turned them down, not that Christ had to struggle with a desire to sin, but ultimately he chose not to. Temptation, if the word is being used to describe an internal want or struggle with a desire for sin that you haven't yet turned into an act of sin, is still itself a sin since you're ultimately interested in doing something that isn't what God is about.
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