According to the modern Webster Dictionary: The act of tempting or being tempted especially to evil.
However, I prefer the definition presented in the 1828 Webster Dictionary.
n. The act of tempting; enticement to evil by arguments, by flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good. When the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. Luke 4. 1. Solicitation of the passions; enticements to evil proceeding from the prospect of pleasure or advantage. 2. The state of being tempted or enticed to evil. When by human weakness you are led into temptation, resort to prayer for relief.
In today’s world it comes at us from all angles – Television, Music, Billboards, and Just walking down the street. The lure and call of the world has sadly become a daily part of our society. Too often men today face an onslaught of traps and snares set by the father of lies. We find ourselves lured by the siren call of lust. It permeates the movies we see. You cannot turn on the television without seeing images that not too long ago would have been only seen in the magazines that were behind the counter at gas stations. Don’t get me wrong. I am not foolish enough to believe that temptation is new to our world. It has just become more mainstream and acceptable in recent years.
We are faced with a world that offers temptations at a rapidly increasing pace. A call to satisfy your needs. To put yourself first. How often do we hear that you deserve this, that, or the other? A constant call to put aside that which is holy and pure and satisfy the call of the flesh. There are those that love to say that God is testing us. “God is tempting me”. This could not be farther from the truth.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God.” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived give birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:10-15).
Scripture is very direct when it says that temptation comes from our own desire. Satan knows your desire and likes to use it as a lure to draw you onto the hook. He likes to dangle it in front of us and let the light twinkle off of its allure. However, the decision to grab hold of that hook is ours alone. Once we grab hold of that hook we “give birth to sin”. That sin is a road to death. We know that we are a fallen people and prone to wander. Therefore, do we give up hope and just succumb to the lure of the world? Just say that we cannot overcome these calls and give up. Most certainly not!
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
What God is telling us is that no one has ever been tempted more than any other man. That what ever comes your way has been seen before. When this temptation rises up in you, God will not let it reach the point that you cannot overcome it. Therefore, the old line that it was too much for me to resist does not hold water. The whole “devil made me to it” is not even close to being the truth. We have the ability to resist what ever temptation comes our way. The question is ” how?”
Well Noah Webster had it right. If you reference back to the 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary you will find the answer.
2. The state of being tempted or enticed to evil. When by human weakness you are led into temptation, resort to prayer for relief.
Turn to the Lord in prayer. Reach out to the Father for the strength to walk away from the temptation that calls us. Do not try to make the journey alone. Do not try to resist without the Fathers guiding hand. What is it that draw’s you in like a moth to a flame? What is the lure that satan places in front of you? When it becomes too much for you to bear…it is time to go to your knees in prayer. We were never meant to make this journey alone!
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)