Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Trial vs. Temptation

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. Don't let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.  So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.  James 1:12-18  The Message

What keeps returning to my mind here is trial vs. temptation.  I will face trials. I will be tempted.  God sends and allows one, and yet is not the source of the other.  Give me some clarity here God. Please!

Trial and Temptation – both can be seen as a test or a challenge. Hum.  What’s the point?  How about this, a trial is a test, a challenge, and unpleasant set of circumstances that is designed specifically to draw me in and draw me closer to God. To His wisdom, His power, His character, His mercy and love, His plan that is greater that I can fully see or understand. Ok –so where does that leave me with temptation.  Well, it’s not about drawing me to God. It’s about my personal relationship with the sins that trip me up.  Temptations seek to draw me away from God; from His presence, from His love, from His best plan for my life. Temptation seeks to steal my passion, my focus, my commitment. Temptation is not sin. It’s what I do with temptation that matters. Lingering in temptation, acting on temptation, pondering the pleasure or short term satisfactions of temptation with motion…that’s all sin…at least for me. 

God, today help me to clearly see what is trial and what is temptation. Grow in me the desire to linger with you. Amen

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