Temptation Is A Step On The Path To Sin [But It’s Not The First Step]

Our Three Spiritual Enemies

Temptation Is The Second Step On The Path To Sin

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus compared the ease of following a life of sin with the difficulty of following a life of righteousness.

For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

path to temptation

Jesus eloquently expressed something everyone knows.

  • It’s easy to tell a lie. It’s often hard to tell the truth.
  • It’s easy to get angry and blurt out profanity. It’s hard to be patient and hold our tongues!
  • It’s easy to be selfish. It’s hard to be generous and loving.

We all struggle with temptation to sin!  Have you ever wondered where temptation comes from? The book of James tells us. James 1:13-14 says,

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. James 1:13-14

Observations About Temptation

  1. It doesn’t come from God.
  2. It doesn’t happen all the time.
  3. It happens when we’re lured and enticed.
  4. It starts with an evil desire.
  5. It happens when we make an evil desire our own.

Here’s a practical example of how this works. Imagine you are in line to pay for something at the store. The woman in front of you accidently drops a $50 bill on the ground. She doesn’t know she dropped it. She starts to walk away.

Immediately a desire pops into your mind. You want $50. Things are difficult financially and you could really use the money! One of two things will happen next.

  1. You reject the desire. It’s wrong and you know it. You call out to the woman and tell her she dropped some money. You don’t let the desire become a temptation.
  2. You accept and make the evil desire your own. You’re conflicted. You know the right thing is to call out to her. You really want the $50. You keep thinking about letting the woman walk away. You are tempted to do wrong.

We’re all regularly attacked with evil desires. It may be a desire to get angry and tell someone off or to spend money on a car we can’t afford or to be discouraged and do something we shouldn’t do to feel better.

Today, pay attention to the evil desires that attack you! Immediately turn to God for help! Ask Him for strength to do the right thing.

Each of our enemies attack us with different kinds of evil desires. We will see in our next post how to handle a desire from the flesh. What always works is turn to God and talk with Him about the evil desire and He will help you.

Do you have a question? Please leave it below!