Temptation comes from our own desires ...

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. -James 1:12-15 NLT

I once heard that the ideas of testing and temptation are dependent on the point of view. A test is often a temptation and vice versa. In essence temptation can only be overcome by faith. So when an enticement is set before us it can be viewed as both a temptation to sin or a test of our faith. What James says here is that we must not see God as the one who places that allurement before us. I do not believe that testings and temptations are divine in nature.

In my own life I have found that these enticements are very subtle and each time I give in to them I become weaker spiritually. Yet when I exert self-control, a fruit of the Holy Spirit within me, I proclaim the power of God to overcome temptation. And like any test, when we pass it we are encouraged by the success to overcome other temptations. In a sense each time we overcome our heart becomes stronger and more able to resist temptation and fight the fight of faith.

Lead us Father, not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom both now and forever.

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