SOAP Devotional 2014-02-11
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. (James 1:13, 14 NLT)
Yesterday's scripture talked about us patiently endure testing and temptation. Some have taken principle to mean that God places temptation on us. Where he allows testing, temptation is our own doing. It comes from our own desires. Those desires of our own are what entices us and will drag us away from God if we allow them to take hold.
In today's world people want to blame someone else for anything bad. How could it possibly be me. Where this passage takes the blame off of God, it also shows that I can not blame the devil either. The devil does not have the power to make me, a believer, do anything. I have to own up to the fact that temptation comes from within me. It comes from desires that I personally have. So how can I minimize temptation in my life. The first thing I can do is to renew my mind by the washing of the Word of God. What I think on helps to form my desires. One of the main battles that any Christian does is for their mind. I have to realize that I am no exception. I can let God change my desires, but any old desires that remain must be resisted by me. Put away old thinking anytime it tries to make a place back in my thoughts. You cannot cast out your flesh, it must be put to death and not allowed to resurrect.
Father, I thank you for changing the way I think about so many things, but I am not naive enough to think that I have it made when it comes to temptation. I know that with every temptation that I can think up, you provide a way of escape, but I have to follow that way. Lord, help me to always listen to your spirit and to follow your leading. And help me to overcome desires that would lead me into sin. Help me to instead fill my thinking with thoughts that will keep my mind focused on you and the things that please you. Lord, give me the desires that you want me to have.