Sunday, August 14, 2005

Man is tempted by his own evil desires: James 1:14-15

If you want to find the source of your temptation to desert God in the midst of a trial look no further than yourself. Being tempted, and succumbing to that temptation is an individual matter. You cannot through the blame for your sin on someone else. Our lust draws us away from God. We are tempted into thinking that something else is better that what God has for us. So in the midst of a trial, a trial God has promised to help us through, we forget the God who made salvation available to us. The two words that James uses to describe the effect of lust (carried away, and enticed) have their origins in fishing. Our lust is attracted to sin like a fish to bait. It grabs our attention and diverts our focus. So it is by our lust that we are be lured into sin, and when we are hooked by that lure we will be dragged away. Too often the desires that seek gratification are aroused and lured to seek satisfaction in things that are not approved by God. But there would be no attraction to sin were it not for man’s own sinful lust. Man’s lust makes evil seem more appealing than righteousness, and it makes the things of this world seem more appealing than the things of God. This is why we must be so careful with what we surround ourselves with. We must not dangle bait in front of our desires. When you go to a movie that has inappropriate things you are dangling sin in front of your lust, and putting yourself in a position to choose sin over the God who offers you salvation. When you put yourself in a situation where you are alone with a member of the opposite sex you are dangling sin in front of you lust, and putting yourself in a situation to choose sin over God. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves for our sin. And knowing this should make us all the more careful about what we dangle in front of our lust.

When we put ourselves in a position to be tempted our lust will inevitably choose sin. If a person welcomes temptation rather than resist then desire gives birth to sin. Our maturity as Christians is not indicated by infrequent temptation. We are all going to be tempted by our own desires. Our maturity as Christians is indicated by infrequent succumbing to temptation. We will always be tempted because within us we have the desire to sin. And when we let that desire be lured out then we will deceive ourselves into taking the bait (it is not my fault, God put me in this situation). Ultimately if we do not stop the process and run back to God for grace and forgiveness then we will find ourselves deep in sin. And we don’t have to look around long to see the negative results of sin. James tells us right here that when sin becomes a fixed habit (full-grown) it leads to death. Sin results in physical death (separation of soul and body), spiritual death (separation of soul from God), and eternal death (separation of soul from God forever). This is not hard to understand. Sin is failing to obey God, and missing the true meaning of this world. And if we spend our whole lives failing to obey God, and failing to see this world in light of eternity it is easy to see that we have never accepted the saving work of Christ. This is why it is so important to examine ourselves. This is why it is so important to stay away from sin.

Are you depending on God no matter what you situation is? Are you letting God put you in a situation to succeed, or are you rebelling against God and putting yourself in a position to fail? Do not blame God for your desire to sin. God wants to work in your life through His Spirit to accomplish His purpose. Put yourself in a situation were there in no bait hanging in front of your desires. Do you want to have an escape from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)? Then get into God’s Word, and let the Spirit of God work through the Word of God to bring a lasting change in
your life.


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