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The Source of Temptation

Posted by Becky Brown on April 16, 2023

The “blame game” began in the Garden of Eden at the moment of Eve’s consumption of the first bite of that forbidden fruit.  Read along in Genesis 3:1-14.  As soon as that second bite was gobbled down by Adam, the game progressed in earnest.  Adam and Eve began their desperate scramble for flimsy coverings for their suddenly realized nakedness.  They began to search for places to hide from their ever faithful, always on time, Walking Partner.  Their dangerously loathsome dread was Lucifer’s dandy delight.  Welcome to the consequences of succumbing to temptation, sponsored by A Hiss and A Smile.  

As soon as God arrived on the scene of the very first crime, the questions began.  God always gets to be the One to ask the questions.  “Where are you?”  God knew exactly where they were.  They were on the other side of a chasm of their own making, separated from Him because of their tandem choice to sin against His command.  Adam responded that he had heard the Lord coming and felt the need to hide from Him because of his own newly discovered nakedness.  

“Who told you that you were naked?”  God knew the source of their temptation personally.  This fallen angel handmade by The Father was bent on dragging these two dear ones down with him.  Lucifer had succeeded in his diabolical deed of deception.  

Without waiting for a response from Adam, God continued with, “Have you eaten from the forbidden tree?”  …GULP…CLEAR THROAT…long pause…” L…L…Lord, it was that woman YOU gave to be with me…she gave it to me, and I took a bite!” 

Then to the woman, God said, “What is this that YOU have done?”  Eve’s weak reply resounded in the ears of God and Adam and the eavesdropping fallen angel, “The Serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  Let the cursings begin.  The heavy blanket of consequences for sinful disobedience offers little comfort.  

Ever since that moment, every human conceived and born of woman has arrived covered and saturated from the inside out with…. Eve’s Droppings.  Death was born! Adam blamed God for giving him Eve while Eve blamed the serpent.  Wow. 

Our most recently observed “HolyDay” takes center stage here.  Thanks be to God, Genesis 3:15 provides the first prophecy of Jesus Christ Who would one day come and finally defeat the plan of The Tempter on Calvary’s cross.  Three days later, the power of sin would receive a “death” blow with an empty tomb.  This event guaranteed the complete undoing of Lucifer.  Until that final judgment moment arrives, the delight of The Tempter is to do everything he can to damage and destroy the children of God.  Temptation is his arrow of entry into the human soul.  This arrow is true and accurate as it is launched.  Praise be to God!  We have a shield available Who can help us absorb and destroy those arrows! 

Over the next few weeks, we will look at dealing with temptation.  First, we must recognize and accept our role and responsibility in the blame game.  We have no one to blame but ourselves when we fall into sin.  Temptation is not our fault.  Saying yes to it by NOT saying NO is the problem.  Through the Holy Spirit, we can call on the “Special Forces” of God to help us when we find ourselves being tempted to disobey Him.  

We will study passages of scripture from James, Deuteronomy, Matthew, The Psalms and Ephesians.  Today, James 1:13-18 hits us over the head with truth.  James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote to his first century readers about various trials.  

Some trials come from the outside in. 
These are external persecutions imposed upon us. 
Through these, we must endure. 
Some trials come from the inside out. 
These are internal attacks exposed within us. 
Through these we must stand secure.  

James assures us that when we are tempted, we are NEVER tempted by God.  First, we are (exactly like Eve!) confronted and consumed by our own lust.  The landing gear of the enemy is provided a clear runway straight into our lives.  Either we call on the Holy Spirit to help us or we don’t.  Our response to temptation is on US.  Lust will always give birth to sin in our lives unless we cut it off at the pass.  God will always help us.  When we call out to Him, LIFE is the result.  When we fail to ask for His help against the enemy, calamity is the result.  

God’s plan from the beginning was life and joy and peace and truth and security for all of eternity.  James calls these the “good and perfect” gifts that come down to us from the Father of lights.  The enemy immediately determined to sow discord in the lives of the keepers of the garden of God.   For God and for Satan, there is no Plan B.  God’s plan is life.  Satan’s plan is death.  With the help of the Holy Spirit against temptation, we sign up for life of the abundant kind now and eternal life forever.

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