In order to understand how something works we have to go to the source. If you think about this in terms of a new electronic device that you buy, the owner’s manual tells you how it operates. Albeit now those manuals are usually online or on a dvd, they give us clear instruction as to how to get the most out of the device. If you are like me, you play with the thing or curbside a buddy who has one to figure out how to make it work. While this usually gets the device to do what “you want it to do”, it may not release the full potential of the device.
Well, to understand temptation, you have to understand its source. Let’s go to the Word here in the book of James.
King James Version (KJV)
13 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:
English Standard Version (ESV)
14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
We learn from these verses that temptation comes from a luring and enticing from mans own desire. So, God does not tempt man. Now understand that through temptation we can learn from God, but God is not the tempter but temptation with evil can only come from the devil. If we understand here that we are in charge of our temptations . . . meaning we have the ability to withstand temptation and not yield to it, then we as Christians really can’t say that we were out of control and we couldn’t help ourselves . . . whether it comes to lust of the flesh or eating too many cookies, or buying that home or car we should have stayed away from. Understanding the source of temptation lets us know that the greater one, GOD, who is on the inside of us is greater than anything that we can be tempted to do?
Well what is a temptation? We see from James 1:14-15 that it will appeal to our desire . . . that is another way to say it will appeal to our flesh. God is a Spirit and He will speak to our recreated human spirit. God is not going to appeal to your flesh. With God, things are spiritual and those things in the spirit and more real than those things in the natural. Look at the Bible example when Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread. In this story (Matthew 4) Jesus was hungry. Satan (the devil) was appealing to the physical characteristic of hunger of the human body. So, the temptation here was to deviate from what God had called Jesus to do, to now turn stones to bread to feed his physical body at the prompting of the devil. Now we know that is wrong because according to Matthew 6:33 we learn that if we seek God and His righteousness, that He will provide us food, shelter and clothing. So Jesus, had to not yield to that temptation but walk in the fulness of what God called Him to do and understand that God had already made provision for His physical body.
Now to the meat of this post. Let me make the point again that we do not have to receive temptations. The world will say otherwise. The enemy (satan, devil) will bring a thought and will tempt you to do something that is contrary to the Word of God. For example, homosexuality – the thought to be with the same-sex had to come from somewhere and since that thought is contrary to the Word, see I Corinthians 6:9-11 and Romans 1:26-28, it had to have come from the enemy. And here is the issue. Having the thought isn’t the problem. The problem comes when you entertain the thought and act on it. In James 1 above we learn that acting on a temptation will eventually lead to death. The latest in the introducing of thoughts that are not of God is displaying animals with people, dancing and doing immoral sexual things. I’m sure that you have seen some of the videos on Facebook. The goal of these posts is to introduce the thought to your mind about a human having sexual relations with an animal. Leviticus 18:23 teaches against it – just like the Bible teaches against fornication (sex outside of the marriage covenant) and homosexuality.
King James Version (KJV)
23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
But if the world can get you to think on it long enough, at some point somebody is going to want to marry their dog or horse or other animal. Understand where the temptation is coming from and cast down any thought that is not of God. See Philippians 4:8 for things that God wants us to think upon. Don’t watch these videos of people dancing with animals and the like, it is perversion that is trying to make its way to mainstream.