Is it me or is it the Devil? How can we tell the difference between our own desires and temptation? I recognized the difference one day in line at the grocery store. I was standing there minding my own business and I looked to my right and saw a man standing there. I clearly heard a voice in my head say, “He looks good! Why don’t you go over there and talk to him?” I immediately recognized this as a temptation from the devil, and turned around, in shock and fear.
How did I know this was a temptation instead of a desire? The difference is found in the delivery or in the way it hits you. A temptation is an instant thought that comes to your mind without any forethought, a desire is something that you have thought about for some time.
James 1:14-15, says we are tempted by our own desires when we dwell on them. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
Father, please help us to be able to recognize immediately whether it is a temptation from the devil or one from our own desires and help us to turn away no matter which one it is. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.