Making the Right Decisions and Choices

In James 1:13-14 (NLT), God tells us, “13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” Temptation of the worse kind is a prompting to do something wrong or unwise. Some Christian leaders and teachers have taught for many years that God tempts or tests us in order to see how we will respond. We have been led to believe that He will do this in an effort to reveal exactly what we are made of. In truth, the scriptures tell us that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. He has all power in His hands, and He knows everything there is to know; this includes every detail of our past, present, and future. He created us and made us new creations through our new birth reality. So, He already knows what we’re made of, and it is our great privilege to affirm it boldly through Jesus Christ every day!

God is never tempted to do wrong. This is a tremendous source of comfort, and it speaks to His omnipotence and goodness; but the truth that He never tempts anyone to do wrong is beyond an awesome piece of loveliness. It’s wonderful to have this truth in our arsenal of knowledge, so that we know exactly where temptation comes from. It comes from the devil. Some of us have attributed the stuff that comes from God as that which comes from satan. And vice versa; we have attributed darkness from the depths of hell as that which comes from Heavenly Father. We have greatly underestimated the importance of clearly discerning the source of that which is good from that which is evil.

Our responsibility as Christians is to take by faith all that God says we can have, and then we are to disburse it or give it out, because everything that comes from God will bless, expand, increase, and continue to move forward. That which comes from satan causes a reverse reaction of the worse kind. Out of ignorance and immaturity, some of us will disburse and dole out what comes from satan. When we do this, it boomerangs! It comes back to us, and instead of blessing us, it smashes us in our faces. The hit is often devastating.

Many of us have seen this boomerang effect in our relationships. It’s no secret that the enemy knows that when we put something negative out there, something negative is going to come back to bite us. That’s his whole game with this temptation business. Temptation will cause this boomerang effect. Many of us Christians have faced or will at some point in our lives face a challenging decision. It may not be apparent to us, or it may not be presented in a way that shouts ‘TEMPTATION’, but sometimes that is exactly what it is. It’s a web the enemy has spun to ensnare us.

We have to be careful because sometimes this temptation is in the form of a fine specimen who’s charming as all get out, has dimples and a killer smile to boot, and he knows all the right things to say. There’s only two ways to handle it; either we will choose God’s way or the way of the enemy. And we can’t get it twisted, giving in to temptation will always end in regret. Heavenly Father has given us a way to avoid this, and all we need to do is ask for His help. The Holy Spirit that indwells us will give us guidance and direction so that we make good choices and decisions. But if we forfeit the patience and wisdom to heed his direction, the end result is going to lead to more confusion, heartache, and distress.

In Genesis 39, we have a record of God’s favor on the life of Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob. God caused Joseph to be successful in everything he did. Because of God’s favor, folks took notice of Joseph, including Potiphar, who was Pharaoh’s Captain of the Guard. Now, Joseph was a handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife wanted him for herself. She didn’t hold back her advances towards him and tried to seduce Joseph by pressuring him to sleep with her. She allowed herself to be used by the devil to tempt Joseph, but He did everything to stay out of her way and never gave in to the temptations she presented.

Joseph didn’t have the indwelling Holy Spirit like we have today, but he was committed to stand upon the righteousness he knew. How many of us will be so brave and courageous? Well, God demands that we are strong and persistent in our conviction to honor Him, no matter what the circumstances may be. We must have a made-up mind and heart to live and do what is right. Our stand for God’s way will always lead us down the path of His goodness and bring us closer to the blessings we desire.

James 1:14 says that temptation comes from our own desires. This tells us that the tempter, the devil, makes a study of our desires, so that he will have something to trick us with. We must never lose sight of this and keep a careful watch for it. Our weaknesses and propensity towards poor judgement furthers his plots and plans.

We don’t have to walk around being afraid of what the enemy will do. 1John 4:4 declares that the Holy Spirit that is within us is greater than the prince of darkness and his demonic cohorts. Jesus Christ declared in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit will guide us into ALL truth, and God commands that we walk by the Spirit and follow his guidance. When we do, we can be confident that he will help us make right decisions and choices so that our lives are blessed and pleasing to God.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Making the Right Decisions and Choices”, written for©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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