Let me talk to you for a minute about temptation. I remember hearing a quote that said, “Temptation is looking through the keyhole. Yielding is when you grab hold of the knob and turn it, and then open the door.”
Every single day, you and I live in a world that we have to be very careful because on every side there are things that can draw us away if we allow them to. If we operate and live as a slave to our senses, and everything is based on the stimuli of our flesh, we are going to have a hard time in this area of temptation. Every Christian is tempted.
I was reading in the book of James, and the Bible said, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. For when he has 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 of evil, neither tempteth he any man. So we have to understand, when this temptation to sin comes into our life, it is not God that is tempting us with that. It is our flesh. It is from satanic workings, evil, the devil himself. It is the fallen nature that we battle and deal with.
In fact, you look at it, here’s how temptation takes place. Every man is tempted when he’s drawn away of his own lust and enticed. So honestly, we tempt ourselves. We often blame it on everything else. But it’s us. The Bible says right here, every man deals with it. You deal with it. I deal with it. Young, old, we all battle temptations. Our temptations could be in different areas. What tempts you might not tempt me. What tempts me might not tempt you. But all of us are going to battle temptation. But look what it says, that when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
You and I would not be so foolish as to pick up a poisonous snake and just stroke it. I remember reading the illustration of a farmer that was plowing a field and there was a snake frozen there in the field. That snake was frozen solid and the farmer looked at it. He could tell that was a poisonous snake. But he felt bad for the snake because of the state that it was in and he picked it up. He took that frozen snake and put it inside of his shirt and then next to his chest. As that man went to work, his body heat was rising and as the body heat rose, that man was sort of warming up that snake and that snake eventually thawed out. And when it did, the snake bit the man in the chest, poisoned him. The man took the snake out, threw it down, said, “I can’t believe you would bite me.” And the snake said, “Well, that’s your fault.” He said, “You knew I was dangerous when you put me so close to your heart.”
The same thing’s true with temptation. And let me give you just a word here in closing. It is not worth it to pet and to stroke and to maintain that little thing in your life that you hide away in your heart, that temptation. The Bible said the end of temptation is sin and sin brings death. And every one of us battles temptation every day. Watch what you see. Watch what you hear. Watch where you go. And maybe be filled with the spirit so that we don’t yield to temptation. I hope this has been a help in your Christian life today.