Authentic Living Keith West / Lewisville, Texas / Age 27  

Temptation

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 “No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15 

Temptation is something that you want to do, but know you can’t do because it goes against something or someone in your own personal life. It is important to note that James says that temptation can become a sin. Temptation is not a sin. 

Temptation Becoming Sin 

First, we are tempted by what? By our own evil desires. What do you desire other than God? Fame, Glory, Wealth, and Promotions. In the USA we are told to go chase education, chase a perfect marriage, chase riches, chase the American Dream. These things aren’t wrong to try to get in life. It is wrong to put those things on the thrown of your life. 

Leaving God behind at church on Sunday and then following your heart’s desires Monday through Saturday, is wrong! We put God in a box and pull him out when we need something.  

Our culture teaches to “do you, follow your heart”. The Bible warned against this teaching. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

If the teaching “Do You, Follow Your Heart” was the best course to take, then it should have been completely fine for Hitler to kill 11 million people in those death camps during WW2, 6 million being Jews. He was just following His heart. 

Everyone one of us views what Hitler did as wrong or evil. We all have this inner feeling inside of us that looks at that mass murder of 11 million people as evil beyond the shadow of a doubt. The Bible tells us why we feel that way when we are looking at the mass murder of millions of people at the hands of a madman. Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.”. People are not just another type of animal on earth, as science claims, but we are the image barriers of God. Those who say, “Oh the bible full of rules”. This rule is not just a rule in the bible, but a rule that every nation on earth has in some way, shape, or form. It’s in the hearts of every person.

Align Our Hearts With God

It’s important that we align our individual heart with God’s own heart. When we face temptations in life, we will have a greater chance to overcome those temptations when we are focus on God. That’s why reading the bible and praying are perfect tools in our daily walk with God. We need to keep our connection with God and that’s how we do it. Psalm 16:7 “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”. When we seek after God, he renews our evil hearts and slowly changes our hearts and our motives. 

To overcome temptations, first, we must turn to God, and then we must allow God to teach us his ways, through His written word and through prayer as we slowly start to trust in him. Psalm 27:11 “Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.” 

Sin

Temptation leads to Sin. #CaptainObvious. 

Sin is the action we take in rebellion against the ways of God. So in the garden, God told Adam not to eat from this one tree, but Adam ate from that one tree and that was a sin. God tells us not to do something and we choose not to obey him. 

God Gives Us Free Will

The reason we don’t listen to God is that we think that God is not really Good. We think that God is holding something good from us. This is a lie from the devil. God wasn’t holding back anything good from Adam, he was holding back death from Adam and was trying to offer him Life. God gave Adam and Eve free will, by placing the tree in the garden. They can choose Life or Death. God or the Tree’s Fruit.

God was truthful to Adam, he told Adam exactly what would happen if he ate from the tree.but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:17. But the devil came along and told a lie with truth attached to it. Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Creator God

Something I want to point out is that the devil is speaking about God as an Impersonal Being. He is not denying the existence of God, but he is not claiming to have a relationship with God either. He just calls God by God, during this whole conversation with Eve.

“For God knows” in the Hebrew the word that shows up for ‘God’ in this verse is “אֱלֹהִ֑ים” (’ĕ·lō·hîm). This is the same term used in Genesis 1:1, “In the Beginning God”. This term is describing the nature of God as the Creator of Heaven and Earth. So the devil speaks of God as the Creator God and not as the Relational Loving God who wants the best for us and wants to protect us. 

Relational God

After the devil got Eve to eat the fruit and give some to Adam, Genesis 3:8-9, Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?

Now we read the term “Lord God” in the Hebrew is says, “אֱלֹהִ֛ים” which means “God” and “יְהוָ֥ה” which means “Yahweh”. Many bibles may say “Yahweh” or “Yahweh God” instead of just saying “God” in the english translations. This is the relational term that is used for God. Before sin enters the world, Adam and Eve knew God as “Yahweh God”. Many Christians today pray to God saying, “Dear Yahweh”. Since the Christian Faith is a relationship with God. 

Oldest Trick in the Book

If you read the conversation between Eve and the devil. You will notice the devil calls God by Creator God one time in verse 1. He used an open-ended question to give Eve a chance to reply back into the conversation. When Eve does reply back into the conversation, she calls God by the “Creator God” term. Then the devil saw an opportunity to trick Eve. See the devil didn’t come to Eve with a lie, he came with a question. “Did God really say …?” 

How many times in life do we think, “Did God really say not to have sex outside marriage? Did God really say not to look at the other sex in a sexual way? Did God really say not to drink beer? I mean Jesus turn water into wine. Did God really say______________________?” The devil will get in your head and do to you what he did to Eve. Every sin that you commit will always start with a statement or a question that makes you not trust the goodness of God. It’s the oldest trick in the book. Really, it’s about 6000 years old and people all over the world are falling for it still.

Adam and Eve were tempted by the devil and they failed and gave in to the temptation. Sin now enters the world and death and destruction follow. 

Playing With Fire

Where was the devil when God was questioning Adam and Eve on why they ate from the tree? He was off to the side watching God punished Adam and Eve. The devil never once took the blame. He didn’t step up and say, “Wait, God, it was me I deceived them.” Even after the devil was punished, he was still silent. Do you notice that? 

When I was younger I did stupid stuff that got me a ride to the police station. One time I did something really stupid to look cool for my “friends” and guess what, when the cops showed up, my “friends” ditched me. No one wanted to step forward and say, “Officer, I was being stupid too”. Just because one minute these people are all for you and best friends and do stupid stuff together, be careful because when that fire is ready to be toss, it might just be tossed on your lap. Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company, for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.” Proverbs 24:1-2. The main point is to pick your friends wisely.

The Science Behind Sin

This is interesting. There is a part in the brain that is in charge of the “Reward System”. When we do something, eat something, smell something, any kind of enjoyment we have, the reward system of the brain releases a drug called “Dopamine”. 

Dopamine is how the brain tells the body “I like this”. As a result of this reward system, people could get attached to drugs, alcohol, sex, and food. This attachment can lead to an addiction. Drug addicts, alcoholism, sexual addiction, and food addiction. 

Sexual Addiction is huge. The porn industry is a $97 billion industry worldwide and $12 billion just in the US. That was a report by NBC News. You can access their article at this link…. nbcnews.com/business/business-news/things-are-looking-americas-porn-industry-n289431

The way you overcome these addictions is sometimes getting medical help, but you could also create new paths in your brain and change the way you think. This thinking process to get off an addiction is not only in the bible, but modern-day science in the last 10 years 

When Desires are Conceived 

James writes, “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death” I think of a woman when she has her baby in her, but the bible says that when our desires are in us, just like a baby grows in a woman, that desire will grow in us, but if we let it grow, and we act on it, then it turns into sin, and then the sin leads to death. Unless we stop feeding it. We have to starve those evil desires.

How many people are homeless right now because they had a desire to try a drug that cost them their career or put their pride in the way and destroy their career that way? How many people die, really, die because they just get addicted to eating anything they want. They just can’t stop eating and it kills them in their mid-40s? According to “fightthenewdrug.org”, there was a study done that showed that girls between the ages 14-19, “who consumed pornographic videos” have a “greater likelihood of being victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault.” For anyone who thinks the bible is outdated, Solomon wrote this sometime around 3500 to 4000 years ago, Proverbs 29:6 “Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.”. “Evildoers are snared by their own sin” and that can’t be more true today as it was 4000 years ago.

The Only Solution We need to confess our sins. First to God, then to Others. After this, we need to turn from sin, by no longer feeding our sin. Stop going to those porn sites. Stop spending money on porn, put that money away for retirement. Stop eating whatever your heart desires and start eating what your body needs. Stop drinking every night. I know that stuff tastes good but leave drinking alcohol for only special events like weddings. Drink in moderation. As an uber driver, friday night is party night until saturday midnight. Dallas gets wasted, I hear about it all the time. What a terrible way to completely waste your weekends. Don’t Waste Your Life, Turn to God and Stop Feeding Your Sin. Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

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