I remember when I was in a seminary class the subject of temptation came up. One of the guys raised his hand and said, “I’ve heard every theory on how to resist temptation, but none of them seems to work.”
The professor, a wise godly saint named Dr. Roy Fish, said, “You are beginning to understand it.”
What is it about temptation that makes it so tough to resist? Some wag said, “I can resist anything but a temptation.”
(James 1:14) But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
You are tempted by what you desire.
Important point. I cannot be tempted by that which I do not desire. For example, I’m not a big fan of the old Volkswagens. My mom loved them. We always had one. No A/C, little cubby hole in the back. Battery under the back seat. The machine was indestructible. The only thing it was really good for was snow. I remember whenever it snowed we would tie a ski rope to that thing and put on slick boots and ski all over town. Kind of rough when you hit a dry spot.
Volkswagens go in the snow. But you didn’t want to take it on a date, and it was hot and miserable most of the summer. During the winter it had these heater vents that were either on or off; no middle setting. So my memories of it aren’t the best, and as a result I’m not a big fan. I love the new beetles, but not the old bugs.
Therefore you can’t tempt me with one. Drive a hundred of them in front of me. Put whatever you want on them. Put some spinners, jack it up, lower it. Doesn’t matter. Leather seats, big speakers. Little dog in the back window with the bobbing head. I’m not ever going to be tempted.
But drive one of those Porsche 911 turbo in front of me and somehow convince me that I could pay it off in ten easy years and I’m liable to bite. Why? Because its something I desire.
So the key temptation isn’t in trying to resist it. The key is being careful with what I desire. Here’s another verse. Guard your heart. Be careful with the things you long for.