Archive for the ‘Struggle’ Category

August 18th, 2009

Real Temptation: Predictable Process

“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:15 (NIV)

Temptation has a predictable process.

James gives uses the metaphor of childbirth to capture the predictable process of temptation. In his letter to the Jews who were scattered outside of Palestine, James writes about the trials from without and the temptations from within.

We have God-given desires that are natural and are vital to life. For example, we have the desire for food. Without that desire we would die. We also have the desire for rest. Without that desire we would die. Yet, both desires can become sin when we take them beyond God’s intended purpose. If we take our desire for food too far, we commit the sin of gluttony. In like manner, if we take our desire for rest too far, we commit the sin of laziness.

Arm yourself with the knowledge of the predictable process of temptation. We idolize something we desire. The next step is that we rationalize why we should have the desire fulfilled. In other words, we talk ourselves into compromising convictions. Then we strategize by coming up with a plan to obtain the object we are idolizing. Ultimately, we capitalize on the opportunity by seizing what we have desired. Remorse and guilt follow.

Look back over poor choices you have made in your lifetime. See if you can identify this predictable process. Here’s the key to victory: The sooner in the process you avoid the sin, the more likely you will overcome the temptation.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Avoiding Sin, Desire, Hannah, Self-control, Struggle.
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June 13th, 2008

Real Temptation (4)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)

God has called us to a lifestyle of moral purity. As followers of Jesus Christ, our constant assignment is to keep from being polluted by the world. Sin is rampant in our society and sin is present within our sin nature. As we battle temptation from within, we must establish guardrails to keep us on the straight and narrow path of holiness.

Let’s consider using a MAP for walking in victory. The letter “M” will remind us to Monitor Media Input. In our age of technology, we have unprecedented access to images that dishonor God. High definition televisions, computers, and cell phones provide an array of images that pollute and contaminate the mind of the child of God. Filtering what we allow to come into our minds is a proactive step to walking in victory.

  • “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil 4:8 (NIV)
  • “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2:22 (NIV)

Take the initiative to monitor media input. When you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. When you put Christ in, you get Christ out. Fill your mind with that which brings honor to God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 13th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Purity, Struggle, Temptation.
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