Temptations or Testing!!

Do you as a believer know that God never sends temptation? (James 1:13) He tests us to make us stronger, but never tempts us. Satan is the author of temptation and he will certainly try. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between temptations and testing, but there is one easy way! When God tests us it is for our good and He wants us to win!!! When Satan tempts us it is to do us harm and he wants us to lose or fail!! When we give in to Satan’s tempting the result is always bad, often the consequences have to be carried with us and possibly also affects others too. How important it is to know that:-
• God will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to take,(1Corinthians 10:13a)
• He will go with us through it, and not only that, (Deuteronomy 31:6)
• ‘He will provide a way of escape.’ (1Corinthians 10:13b)
• God wants us to know that, in His Strength, we can overcome all Satan’s temptations
However, when we fail God’s tests, we remain on the same spiritual plane and don’t progress in our spiritual lives. Do you ever feel that spiritually you are stuck in a rut? Are you trying to avoid the tests, trying to take the easy way out? I know it, I’ve done it and thought I was clever in avoiding the problems and yet it meant I had failed the test! It isn’t long before you realize you have lost that intimacy with God and are stumbling on in your own strength. Prayers seem to reach only the ceiling, the desire to worship is weak and life seems dull and stale. No one who has known His deep love and care wants to stay that way for long and we will soon yearn for the fellowship and oneness of which we are now bereft.
Believe me, if we did not stand the test the first time, we can’t go further with Him till we try it again. He will give us another opportunity, maybe in a different way or circumstance, but there is no running from it, until eventually we make it through. Just like being tested in school: one cannot progress to the next class until the last one has been successfully passed. So God will not trust us with a higher responsibility, till we pass the tests set before us in the one we have.
Each of these ‘tests’ we face are purposely set to bring us into the realization that God wants our love, our praise and our service because He loves us so deeply and personally. In other words, they are to make us grow in our knowledge and love of Him, that we may be mature in Him. As we become more certain of God’s personal love for us and stronger in the knowledge that He can take us through, it becomes easier to know that we can stand through the devil’s temptations in God’s Power and not in our own strength. (2Corinthians 12:9)
Dr Harold Willmington used to tell us we are ‘either in a crisis, about to enter one or just coming out of one’ in our Christian lives. Let us discern which are tests from God or temptations from the devil and stand strong in His Power to find the ‘way of escape’, or to pass the test.

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