Resisting Ourselves

by Greg Laurie on Nov 16, 2021
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
—James 1:14

When my son Jonathan was very young, I found him playing video games one morning when he was supposed to be doing his homework. With the controller in his hand and a guilty expression on his face, he told me, “Dad, I couldn’t resist myself.”

He didn’t say that he couldn’t resist the video games or the temptation to play video games. Rather, he said that he couldn’t resist himself. And I thought that was about the most accurate description of temptation I’ve heard.

After we fall into temptation, we like to say the Devil made us do it or that someone entrapped us or a certain situation just happened, and therefore we had no control over the circumstances. But God never will give us more than we can handle or allow us to be tempted above our capacity to resist.

The Bible tells us, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).

Scripture clearly says that temptation does not come from God. James wrote, “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” (James 1:13 NLT).

Instead, James says that “temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” (verse 14 NLT). We play a key role in our own temptation. Now, clearly the Devil will work in concert with the flesh and this world to bring us down, but we have to cooperate.

Yet when temptation comes to us as Christians, we do not fight for victory. Rather, we fight from victory. In other words, we rest in the finished work that Christ has accomplished for us on the cross.

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