Are You Dealing with a Test or Temptation?
By Keneesha Saunders-Liddie
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone… - James 1:13
Have you ever been tempted by anyone or thing? Have you ever tempted anyone? I can recall a time when I was younger where temptation was very hard for me. As a little girl, I would go to the library at least twice a week. I would return three books and get three more. The librarians knew me and always anticipated my arrival. Sometimes they would have books set aside that I could read. After I had read through the entire Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Sweet Valley list, I realized I had read every book in the pre-teen section.
I asked the librarian on duty to allow me to look through the books on the teen level and a particular book caught my attention. I read the back and I could tell it had some racy stuff in there that wasn’t fitting for me to read as a young Christian. I kept glancing at it and finally added it to the other two books and went to get them checked out.
What do you think happened?
The librarian took a look through my list and decided for me that she wouldn’t let me take that particular book.
Do you think it would be fair for me to say that God tempted me with that book? No, God doesn’t tempt anyone. The only thing that God allows to come our way is tests. He does this to assess us, to help us to grow stronger in our faith.
If I were to start gardening and I find a piece of gold, I wouldn’t even know because it will just look like dirt. The only way for me to enjoy that gold is to have it go through the fire and a purification process. Gold would mean nothing unless it is purified.
In the same way, there are some things God will allow us to go through in order to prepare us for what’s ahead. The only way we can get to what he has in store for us is to go through the testing and come forth as gold.
To say that God is tempting you would be to accuse God of being evil. Let me explain. The purpose of temptation is to bring out the worst in us. The devil is the one that tempts the believer, because he has one goal in sight. All he wants to do is lure the believer away from full trust and confidence in God. Satan tempts the believer because he is evil. God is not evil; he is just.
If God were to decide to tempt his children, he wouldn’t be God. God is just, and he only offers to us good gifts.
What did happen to me is I was drawn away by my own lusts and enticed. My flesh was intrigued by what I read. It was taboo and there was romance included that was well above my age-level, but I wanted to satisfy my curious lustful desire.
I’m so thankful that the librarian, knowing who I was, knew that the book wasn’t for me. Only God knows what could have been had I started down that part. God is faithful and he is only wanting what’s best for us.
Now you need to discern the difference between your flesh, the devil and God’s best. Everything that you face in this life happens for a reason. God makes no mistake. When Peter was tested, he failed the test but he ended up being the one whom God used to preach a powerful sermon on the day of Pentecost. Over 3000 souls were saved.
Remember this; a test is given to gain God’s approval while temptation is given to showcase your failure and unworthiness of the grace and mercy God provides.
Thank you for your love, grace and mercy. I’m so grateful to know that you never want to see me fail and that even when I do you will always be there, never far away, ready to keep me steadfast on you. Heavenly Father grant me wisdom as I go throw the temptations of the evil one. I want to come forth as gold for you like Job did. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Keneesha is a wife, mom and writer. She is an avid reader of wholesome romance novels and a lover of writing. She is hoping to one day add author to her list of accomplishments. As a pastor’s kid she fell in love with the way Jesus loved her at an early age and want to encourage others to live for him through her words. You can find more musings from her here https://womenlovinggodsway.com
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