As you fight the fight of faith, there are tools which the devil uses to take Christians off the Heavenly race. These tools or tactics all start with a temptation. According to Wiktionary, a temptation is something attractive, tempting or seductive; an inducement or enticement. It is a pressure applied to your thinking designed to create wrong emotions which will eventually lead to wrong actions”. The Bible tells us a great deal on Christians and temptations as not to lose our focus – Jesus. James 1:2 says,
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”
The above verse is not telling us to rejoice when we commit sin as many people have interpreted it to be so. What James 1:2 is saying is for Christians to rejoice when temptations come. A pressure to wrong actions shows that you are on the right track of holiness and the devil wants to take you off that track. A person engaged in fornication, lying, stealing or any thing of sin will not see what he or she does as a temptation because it has become a normal way of life to them – there is no pressure. As a Child of God, such sinful thoughts or enticement should trouble you. That’s the difference. When such enticement comes to you, you are to note that you are on the right track of holiness and the devil wants to take you off it. Thus, to be tempted is not a sin, but to fulfil the temptation is to birth sin. This is the truth of Christians and temptations.
Why are you to rejoice? James 1:3-4 answers the question that,
“Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.
At this point, we will really want to know who tempts people. How does a Christian allow the pressure that comes with temptations over take him or her to doing the wrong things? What is the end of fulfilling the enticement of temptations? Is there a reward for overcoming temptations? The Bible which is a guide to our Christian Life gives the answers in James 1:12-16,
“Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren”.
It is important as Christians to identify temptations quickly as not to be drawn away to bring forth sin. The devil has always and still uses three tactics in tempting people. He used it against Jesus also. The same three tactics. It was the same tactics the devil used against Eve in the garden of Eden. These tactics are found in 1 John 2:16 saying,
“For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”.
These tactics namely the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are all of this world. Any one who cares so much of the things of this world is not far from being drawn away by their own lust. No wonder Matthew 6:21 says,
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”.
As mentioned above, the devil uses the same tactics over and over again. In the case of Eve, she did not overcome the temptation (Genesis 3:1-6). Jesus did overcome His when tempted of the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). Compare the temptation of Eve and that of Jesus on the bases of the tactic used by the devil as well as their responses to the temptation. You will find out that these three tactics are very evident. For Eve, having heard what the serpent said (Genesis 3:4-5), she saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh); pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes); desire to make one wise (pride of life). As James 1:15 says,
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”.
Anything that has an appearance of evil in it is indicating sin and must be done away with (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Though it is the devil that tempts, God is faithful, supreme and sovereign thus will not allow us to be tempted more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). No temptation that comes to you as a child of God is more than your capacity.
I conclude this matter with this, if God was to lead you into temptation, who will deliver you (Matthew 6:13). God is faithful to always prepare a way of escape in the face of temptations. What we need to do is to hold onto God through His Word and prayers being born again. 2 Peter 2:9 says,
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”