How do I avoid temptation? – James 1:12
James 1:12 : 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.
Many years ago a well known Christian leader I had some dealings with was caught out having an affair. He had been seeing another woman in secret for more than 4 years. It really rocked me and the other Christian men in my network. We asked questions of each other, how could this happen? How could he allow himself to get into this situation? Why didn’t his faith challenge him to stop? And then a young pastor friend of mine said to me, ‘Mark this could happen to you or I, we need to be vigilant.’ I have never forgotten this. Temptation is ever present in my life, this is part of life, and not being tempted is unrealistic. But I am no victim drawn towards sin without little choice! There are some precautions, some things I can do to avoid sin that are outlined in this amazing James 1:12 reading.
The first is to love God, which in the greek is agapao, meaning to be devoted. So I counter temptation and sin by spending a huge amount of time thinking about God. Reading His Word, in prayer, chatting with others: making God a major focus in my life.
The second lesson from James 1:12 is the importance of enduring. Just keep going, stay on the path, being determined not to give up, even when other have departed. Stand firm!
The third help I find in James 1:12 to reduce the affect of temptation, is to desire the crown of life. The crown is a reward given by a king, and that king is God, and the reward ceremony will be in heaven! This is something I really need to work on, desiring my reward in heaven.
And the final help is to yearn to be blessed. Blessed refers to God’s favour, of God working through my life in amazing and wonderful ways – oh I want that!
So how do I reduce the affects of temptation in my life? I seek to be devoted to God, to endure through the hardships, to desire after a reward in heaven and to yearn to be blessed. Praise God!!
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