Walking on dry ground
Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. (James 1:13-15)
Woodrow Wilson reminded us, "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it." That might aptly describe how it is when we are tempted - swimming AGAINST the stream, trying to live a righteous life, but pulled ever so hard by the strength of the 'evil current' that works against us. I have been pulled or tugged in one direction or another all of my life. At times, I am tempted to say that God is working AGAINST me, but I know that is NEVER true. At others, I am fully aware that my own silly desires (lusts) get in the way of making right choices. Temptation is real, my friends, but we don't ever want to think it is God at work in our lives, putting all manner of tempting stuff or thoughts in our path.
The sad truth is that we don't need to be lured into 'evil actions' sometimes. They come quite naturally to us. The hardest thing for us to do is admit those tempting desires (lusts) come from within our own minds. I think too many times we want to blame another for our own silly desires that get us into all manner of trouble. Whenever we shift the blame to another (including God himself), we are refusing to see that there is really an 'evil bent' to our own desires - intent on pleasing ourselves. As a believer in Christ, those desires are not going to just magically go away, but Christ is helping us to see them clearly and then to understand how to overcome the 'strength' of their 'current' within our lives.
Learning to recognize when an 'evil intent' is lurking within is sometimes one of the most difficult things to do, but when we grasp the truth God sets out in his Word, we can be free of the pull toward sin. The type of 'truth' we may need to hear could be that our words have the potential to build up or tear down. Maybe we need to embrace the truth that money isn't supposed to be our primary goal in holding down a job - doing our work as unto the Lord makes us excellent employees and the 'natural outcome' of that type of service is 'reward'. It may be monetary, but it could also be a sense of having done a job well and with all the talent God has given us put to use. Truth understood will set us free. How? When 'evil intent' is the current pulling us, we learn to get out of the water and walk on dry ground! Just sayin!