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~Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Sin’s appeal works in many ways. If the devil cannot attract us through one of our senses, he will use another. This is apparent in the account of Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden.

After Satan questioned Eve as to what God had told her, he probably saw that she understood what God had said to her. So his first attempt was to appeal to her reasoning. He twisted God’s words around to cause Eve to question what she had actually heard. Had that worked completely, he would not have had the need to proceed, in my opinion.

However, he did proceed – Eve probably needed just a nudge to turn her thinking around and he knew just how it do it. So Satan then appealed to her sense of sight. She saw the fruit and it was pleasant to her eyes. She sees that the fruit is healthy fruit and has no blemishes. Now the devil has appealed to her reasoning and her sense of sight.

Like anyone else guilty of doing what we’re not suppose to do, Eve wants to share that with someone close. She had no one else but Adam. Adam could have said no. But he didn’t. God punished Adam just as much as He punished Eve. They both had the opportunity to say no, but they did not. Had they just yelled out to God to come to their rescue, the fall of man would not be an issue today.

Are we any different? Of course not! How many times a day do we give into temptation? We cannot blame Adam and Eve for their sin. We are just as much to blame and we possess the same weak flesh as they had. At least we can recognize what is going on because we have God’s Word to instruct us. Let’s pay attention to the devil’s antics. He’s only going to get worse as his end draws near.

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.
Blaise Pascal

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8) As I was meditating on this verse this morning, I thought of ways I could be sober and vigilant to avoid temptation. Truly, the only way to be able to do this is if I stay in God’s word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11) The more we are in His word, the more we will be able to be sober and vigilant. We’ll have Scripture fresh in our minds and available to meet our spiritual need of the moment. We’ll have filled our mind with spiritual vitamins to strengthen ourselves.

James says that it is our own lusts that entice us to sin. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (James 1:14) If a believer has been in the Bible and is drawing nigh to God, he will be able to be sober and vigilant when the devil comes as a roaring lion. But even when our defenses are down, our Heavenly Father pities us and knows what we are going through and He promises to help us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103:13) God knows what we need and is able to deliver us. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations… (2 Peter 2:9) Because He knows and is able to deliver us, He goes to great lengths to help us. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) (Emphasis mine)

Oh Christian, we don’t need to wallow in sin like the world. We have the ability to ward off temptation. Each time we are in the Scriptures drawing nigh to God, we are building up our defenses. Each day we should start by asking the Lord to protect us against the day’s temptations. Christ taught us this in His model prayer. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)

As I am being sober and vigilant, I find that I am not so easily led astray. I’m aware of my surroundings and I do not place myself in situations where I know I will be tempted. I will not be quick to go out with unsaved acquaintances because I know that they will not have my spiritual interests at heart. Instead, I will ward off temptation and steer clear. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Peter 3:17)

My Morning Manna from God’s word prepares me to be spiritually fueled for the day. I feel like I have armor on and am ready for battle. My thoughts are filled with the Bible and what I have gleaned. My thoughts are not on my troubles of the day because I’ve already shared those with the Lord and left them with Him. I also find that when my thoughts are not on myself, I am not easily tempted. There is nothing like a good pity party to get one focused on self and everything we lack in life. The lust of the flesh is aroused and bang! The roaring lion pounces and we are tempted to sin. But do not be discouraged, my friend, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) What lovely words those are! Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Please make my Morning Manna
Spiritually filling for today
Protect me from fleshly lusts
As I walk along the way

James 4:6-8 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

As we read James, we can clearly see that Christians have a choice when it comes to sin. We mothers cannot possibly teach our children about these choices until we have learned it in our own spiritual lives. Our children need to learn that after they are saved, they no longer need to give in to sin.

Look at the progression in these three verses. James 4:6 teaches us that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “proud” to be:

Having inordinate self-esteem; possessing a high or unreasonable conceit of one’s own excellence, either of body or mind.

As we read verse 6 in context then, God will not give grace to resist sin to the one who thinks himself “spiritual” or who thinks highly of himself.  The Pharisees of today have the same prideful spirit as the Pharisees of Christ’s day. These do not need a Saviour because they believe that they can get to Heaven on their own merit. The humble in spirit, however, are those who have acknowledged their sinful ways, repented and believed on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Children are especially open to the Gospel and this is why it is important to teach them early after they get saved.

To the humble, God gives grace to be able to accomplish James 4:7. One does not have to give in to sin! So many times we hear, “The devil made me do it!” However, James 4:7 says that if we submit to God, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us! With God’s grace (promised in verse 6 to the humble in spirit), we can say no. But how?

James 4:8 is absolutely beautiful! Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. The humble know that they can do nothing without the Lord. (Philippians 4:13) A humble heart, covered by the precious blood of the Jesus Christ, will desire to walk righteously. Purifying our hearts daily means to keep our thoughts and heart fixed on the word of God. (Philippians 4:8) Furthermore, a double minded person doesn’t have a “stand” for good or for bad! (James 1:8) To claim Christianity on Sunday and then live like the world the other six days is a double minded person. Therefore, James 4:8 tells us that when we take a stand for Christ with righteous living and purify our hearts, it is drawing nigh to God! What happens to those who draw nigh to Him? The word says that God will draw nigh to them. What better way to help our children than to have them memorize these verses so they can pull from them! This is how we can avoid sin!

  1. The humble one recognizes his need for God’s grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  2. The humble one resists the devil when temptation rears its ugly head. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  3. The humble one will draw nigh to God through salvation in Jesus Christ. For it is impossible without His salvation. (Hebrews 7:19)
  4. The humble one walks in the paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:3)
  5. The humble one purifies his heart with God’s word! (Psalm 119:9)

Today’s Christian has become so worldly and the teaching of living a godly life has now been mushed down to “legalism.” The world has entered the church and one is hard pressed to find a godly church who desires to live righteous lives. We must remember that God is still holy and He still requires us to pursue righteous living. After all, Scripture says He never changes. (Hebrews 13:8)

If one believes that he does not need to change after salvation, then that person is ignoring 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our old lifestyle (of living IN the same sins as before, day after day) should be dissipating with each passing day. If this is not happening, then repentance never took place. Godly sorrow for one’s sin causes the Christian to repent! This is where the humbleness comes in. Recognizing sin, repenting (completely turning away) from it and pursuing righteous and godly living is a sure sign that 2 Corinthians 5:17 actually occurred in your life.

Christian, we do not need to struggle with sin. We have been given this wonderful freedom and we have the ability to say no! Praise the Lord!

~1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The Bible clearly warns us that the devil’s ultimate goal is to exploit our weaknesses. If Satan is seeking to devour us, then we must not give him even an inch by placing ourselves in danger of being tempted! If a person struggles with pornography, then he needs to stay off the Internet, adult book stores and friends who indulge in that sin. If someone struggles with shoplifting, he needs to stay away from stores when he is not accompanied by someone who does not shoplift.

It is not the temptation that God condemns but it is succumbing to the actual sin itself.

~James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Just because we are born with a sin nature does not mean that we have to succumb to sin after we are born again. The Word says that we can resist sin. God is faithful and will always provide us with the help that we need when we need it.

~1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.