Believe It or Not.

The biggest battle that believers find themselves in is not a fight against the devil...rather it is the battle with self from within.

The central point in temptation is from within and vividly described in James 4:1-3. If we understand this passage, we will have found a key to preventing and resolving conflict.
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
This passage describes the root cause of giving in to temptation: Temptation's strength comes from fleshly desires within us. When we feel we cannot be satisfied unless we have something we want or think we need the desire turns into temptation and temptation turns into a demand. We then fulfill that demand by giving in to the temptation because we are now more sin-conscious than God-conscious. If the desire is to be fulfilled by another person and he does not fulfill it then judgement and condemnation set in and we manipulate and deceive to get our way. Temptation arises when desires grow into demands that are difficult not to give in to.

What if people would simply renounce fleshly appetites and decide to respond to temptations in the power of grace? Grace cannot reign can't when we are bound by the law gospel. In order to break free from the pattern of breaking the law we need to understand the workings of the Law and it limitations, and the workings of Grace and its limitless empowering ability for us to live righteously. When faced with temptation, we tend to focus passionately on trying not to give in to it.

This may work for a time but, eventually we succumb to it because in focusing on the temptation and spending our energy on trying not to give into the temptation we lose focus of Jesus and grace's power to overcome. 


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