Let’s admit it. Other than Messiah Yeshua who died sinless and rose triumphantly from the grips of mortal conditions, there’s no such thing as a perfect person! We all have our strengths and weaknesses that make us quite unique from those that surrounds us. Whenever we’re confronted with our vulnerabilities, we just tend to make those foolish mistakes. Sometimes, we can get up and continue on without letting those blunders emotionally hurt us, and sometimes we really feel the pain.
“I’ve should have known better. I had that gut instinct! I just knew that I should not have done that, but I gave that person an opportunity to prove me wrong. Now, I feel foolish for not listening to that deep, inner voice,” thought Rachel as she tried to make sense as to why she kept doing the same mistakes over and over again. Yes, she may have pledged not to repeat those same mistakes twice, but she admits that it’s easier to say that she’s not going to fall for the trap again until she is faced with her own personal vulnerabilities that many bible enthusiasts recognize as temptations.
Prior to discussing in-depth the origins of temptations, this study will first define temptations.
So, what exactly is a temptation? Where does it come from? A temptation can be one of two things. Firstly, a temptation can be a particular desire perceived within any given person’s heart to do something that is either especially wrong or unwise. Secondly, temptation can also be either a thing or course of action that leads the person into committing that wrong course of action (The Oxford English Dictionary 2014). Regardless of whether temptation is perceived as being a wanting desire, an item, or a wrong course of action, temptation is something that we all face on a constant basis. When we do face those temptations, the Bible discourages us from blaming the Heavenly Father from such an outcome. Instead, consider the biblical response as to the origins from whence temptations come from.
12 Elohim blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that Elohim has promised to those who love him. 13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “Elohim is tempting me.” Elohim is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entices us and drags us away. 15 These [inner] desires give birth to sinful actions (i.e., temptations). And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. 16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from Elohim our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
James 1:12-8, NLT
It’s quite easy not to take full responsibility for our own mistakes and blame others for our own personal failures. Anyone can easily say, “It’s not my fault!” Some might say, “The devil made me do it.” Others might even say, “G-d is in control of everything, so he allowed me to learn from this failure.” When it’s all said and done, we each are responsible for our own actions and will be held accountable for them.
After defining temptation, this study will now discuss rather briefly the origins thereof.
According to James, he described for us the true origins of temptations. He expressed that “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entices us and drags us away” (James 1:14, NLT). Let us consider the true source of these inner desires by referencing the Word.
In defense for those who followed Yeshua in his day, he once stated a very important thing that we as his modern day followers should ever be mindful of. He said, “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander” (Matthew 15:19, NLT). Some might reason that if something feels good, then it must be a good thing to do! However, Messiah said otherwise. In fact, the Bible says otherwise with reason.
Through Jeremiah the Prophet, the Heavenly Father who knows everything said, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the L-RD, search all [the] hearts [of men] and examine [their] secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:9-10, NLT).
Yes, you may have reasoned that you had good intentions. Maybe perhaps you’ve even said, “The Heavenly Father alone knows my heart!” It even sounds great, right? Without a doubt, you’ll get those heads to nod in agreement with you when you say such wonderful things. You might even use this as a very good excuse to overlook your own personal wrongdoings, however the Bible tells us not to do such a thing.
This much we do know. The Bible explains the reason why the Heavenly Father knows our hearts. To what extent? It says, “He made mankind’s hearts, so he understands everything they do” (Psalms 33:15, NLT). The Bible also says that the Heavenly Father also searched the hearts of many. Would you like to know what he discovered? The Scriptures say that “The L-RD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything [that] they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil” (Genesis 6:5, NLT). Why is it that we tend to invent such evil things within our hearts? Well, the Scriptures explains it! “But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward” (Jeremiah 7:4, NLT). Yes, it even says it like this: “You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me”
(Jeremiah 16:12b, NLT).
Contrary to following what might feel good, the Bible encourages to “Trust in the L-RD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, NLT). Instead of avoiding the responsibilities of your own action, the Bible discourages us from doing such a thing! In fact, the Word says, “Don’t excuse yourself by saying, ‘Look, we didn't know.’ For Elohim understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve”(Proverbs 24:12, NLT).
Without a shadow of a doubt, the human heart is the festering ground of all these temptations that spring forth.
After defining temptation and the origins thereof, this study will now end with the following.
The Bible says, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12, NLT). At any given point in time, we can easily falter. How? By disregarding the Word and following our own personal desires. When we totally go by what seems to feel right, we make complete mistakes. To end, the Word says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell Elohim what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6, NLT).
© 2014 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Winslow, New Jersey, USA
All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
For more information, contact NehrHaOlam@gmail.com.
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