Is Temptation A Sin?

Let’s address an age-old question: “Is temptation a sin?” No, being tempted is not a sin. But yielding to temptation is a sin. What makes us yield to temptation? It’s the desires of our heart. James 1:15 states clearly that when desire is conceived (in our hearts), it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death.  We think it in our thoughts, and our lack of dependence on God leads us to carry out the act. We then justify our actions by telling ourselves (or others) that we had no control over the situation. The Apostle Paul gives us a solution in 1 Corinthians 10:13 and shows how flimsy our excuses are. He says that no temptation has overtaken us except such as is common to man; BUT God is faithful, He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, BUT with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  God faithfully provides a way out, BUT how many of us have ignored this way of escape that God has provided? I have failed to take it many times in my life. 

Christ was tempted just as we are (I say even more than we will ever be) and yet He did not sin. We say I am not like Christ – Christ is God. I am not. Yet Scripture tells us that He was fully God and fully Man. Meaning that He had to learn things the way that we do (Luke 2:40, 52); He grew and developed physically, emotionally, and mentally.  There are two questions that tend to boggle our minds in regard to the temptations of Christ. (1) Why is it that He did not sin? (2) Why is it that He could not sin? As God, it is not in His nature to sin. As Man, He did not sin because He used the same tools that we have available to us to resist the temptations of the devil. He had the Holy Spirit to strengthen Him, the Word of God that He used as His weapon, and He had prayer to sustain Him. He put on the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) as we ought to every day, and not only as an “as needed basis.”

When temptation comes, and it will come, do not try to resist it in your own strength – you will always lose. Before we face any temptation, God has already provided a way out – seek it and take it in His strength. Stay suited up and fully equipped in the Word of God and prayer, and the devil will flee. Stay in constant fellowship with the Great Deliverer, Jesus Christ, and you will be victorious. 

Father, the devil only comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy. Help us to recognize his schemes so that we do not fall victims to his traps. Help us to stay constantly suited in Your armour and to be daily in fellowship with You so that we can live victorious lives to Your glory. Amen.
Guest Contributor,
Sophia Belnavis

There Is An Accursed Thing In Your Midst

The children of Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, had experienced a great victory in Joshua Chapter 6 in defeating Jericho and taking possession of their land. They had a boost of confidence and were now ready to move in on neighbouring Ai. Their confidence was so great that they reduced the size of their army because they noted that the people of Ai were few in number. They were shocked and grew fainthearted when they had to flee for their lives from an army that was weaker than the city of Jericho they had just defeated. What went wrong?

I see two things here. First, they had grown so confident in their defeat of Jericho that they did not consult with the Lord to get a battle strategy. They had become dependent on their strength and their might and past success – shown by the decision they made in reducing the size of their army. Second, the Lord’s presence was not with them because unknown to the others, greed had caused one of them to disobey the Lord’s command. In their defeat of Jericho, Achan had taken some of the accursed things and placed them among his possessions. These things were either to be destroyed or consecrated for the LORD’s treasury (Joshua 6:18-19). By taking these things, Achan disobeyed a direct command and stole from God.

Joshua had clearly stated that taking the accursed things would bring a curse on the entire camp of Israel. There are times in our lives when the presence of the Lord is not felt because somewhere on our journey, we or someone in our midst have sinned and taken of the accursed things and placed them among our (their) possessions. We sin, and we cover it up the way Achan did, thinking we can hide it from God, but failing to realize God sees and knows everything. Then we blame Him when things start to go wrong in our lives, as Joshua did (Joshua 7:6-9).

Be careful of the things that your eyes behold and what your hands take. When Satan tempted Eve, her eyes and hands led to her downfall. She saw that the tree was good for food and was pleasant to the eyes, so she took and ate. Achan saw the beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold. All these things were pleasant to his eyes, and his hands took them. And in looking and taking, the entire camp of Israel had to bear the consequences of his sin.

Sin’s consequences not only affect the sinner, but it also sometimes affects others. When Joshua went before the Lord, the Lord did not say, “Achan has sinned.” He said, “Israel has sinned.” Adam and Eve’s sin led to the fall of mankind. Achan’s sin led to the defeat of the Israelites before Ai, and to the stoning and burning of him, his family, and his animals. Our sin or the sin of someone in our midst might lead to a disconnect in our relationship with God unless we confess and repent.

When we covet, it is a sin, and this sin leads to our trying to hide what we have done from God, which is impossible! The best remedy for sin is to confess it before God and repent. The best rule for our eyes and our hands is to keep our eyes on our Heavenly Father and our hands committed to doing His work. Once these are in line with His commands, there will be no room in our heart to covet the things of this world that others possess. Our mission at all times is to seek His Kingdom first. The desires of our heart should be in accordance with His will. His will is for us to glorify Him and to put Him first in everything that we do. Guard your eyes, hands and heart with the Word of God.

“Father, help me this day to keep my eyes on You and my hands committed to doing Your work. May my eyes not covet, and my hands not take anything that will lead to a disconnect in my relationship with You. My chief end is to glorify You, and my true contentment is found only in You. In Jesus’ name, the One who gave up heavenly riches to live a lowly earthly life, I pray, Amen!”
Guest Contributor,
Sophia Belnavis