In James 1:13 we read, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." And yet, Jesus taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." If God does not lead us into temptation, then why pray that He will not do so?
Well, there is a big difference between tempting someone and leading him into a situation in which he can be tempted. In Matthew 4:1 we read that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Note, then, that the devil does the tempting, but the Spirit led Jesus to where Satan tempted Him.
That is also why in James 1:13 we read, "Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." Satan does the tempting through things and men. He appeals to our flesh, while God's command is that we do not live according to our sinful flesh. Therefore in the next verse James says, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
God uses temptations for the strengthening of our faith, not to get us into sinful deeds. He does not entice us; but He does govern all things, and He brings men where they are tempted. He will bring His people there so that their faith is strengthened through the trial.
The more you use your muscles, the stronger they will become. So also, the more you practice singing or playing a musical instrument, the more skillful and capable you will become. Set it aside, and you will lose your ability. So it is that God leads us where our faith, hope, and love are sorely tried; but He does this for the strengthening, not destruction, of our faith, hope, and love.
Do not accuse God of tempting you. Thank Him for leading your life in a way that you can become stronger in your faith, hope, and love. God is always looking out for the good of His people.
Read: I Corinthians 10:1-13
Quote for Reflection:
In the light of what immediately follows, it seems to us that the coming to David of Hushai is often His way to so regulate our circumstances as to exhibit the secret workings of our hearts—that we may, subsequently, be humbled thereby, and brought to prize more highly that grace which bears so patiently with us. – Arthur W. Pink
- Date: 23-June