The Joy of Trials
2012 American Election Day Preview (Barna Group)

Overcoming Temptation

TemptMore wisdom from James on temptation ...

James 1:12-15. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 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. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

God never tempts anyone so we can't blame him. Each of us is tempted when we are dragged away and enticed by our own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin gives birth to death when it is full-grown.

Sin, which is essentially living life contrary to hte way God designed, creates death in our life. It may be pleasant initially but it lies and never produces what it promises. Sin is deceptive in that it always offers more than it can deliver.

The key to living in victory is for us to control our desires, through the indwelling power of the Spirit. What we desire we pursue. What we feed, grows. Our desires drive and motivate us to take action directed at their fulfilment. Change your desires and you’ll change your life. Cultivate godly desires. Then delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Elsewhere, the apostle Paul encourages us that God always gives us a way to overcome temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 


1. What do you desire? How is this desire affecting the direction and motivation of our life? What will be the end result of that desire?

3. What is your greatest temptation? If you were the enemy, what tactics would you use to trip someone like you up, knowing your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities?

4. How can you learn wisdom from your past failures in preparation for the future temptations that will inevitably come?

5. In what practical ways can you dis-empower desires that lead you in a destructive direction?

6. How can you feed godly desires that will lead to life?