Q. Does the devil cause every temptation we face? I admit I don’t do a very good job of fighting temptation.
A. The devil certainly wants you to give in to temptation and do what is wrong, because his main goal is to turn us away from God. When we yield to temptation, you can be sure we make the devil happy.
But the devil isn’t directly responsible for every temptation we face, nor can we blame him when we give in and do wrong. Temptations come to us in many ways — but when we give in to them, we alone are responsible for what we’ve done. The Bible says, “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14).
Remember, it isn’t a sin to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn away from God’s plan (see Matthew 4:1-11). But it is sin to give in to temptation and go our own way instead of God’s way. Every sin is an act of rebellion on our part, telling God we think our way is better than His way. But that is a lie, for God’s way is always best.
Don’t fight your temptations alone; if you do, you will fail. Instead, ask God to help you by giving you the courage and inner strength to turn away. Begin by asking Christ to come into your life, forgiving and cleansing your sins and coming to live within you by His Spirit.
Then learn to walk with God every day, through prayer and fellowship with other believers and reading the Bible. The Bible says, “God is faithful…. When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Decision Magazine: How to Defeat Temptation