You’re Going to Blame Me?
Verse 14 …but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Yesterday we said that God never tempts us and we learned how the enemy likes to tempt us through doubt. But is the enemy the only source of temptation?
Remember that James was writing to believers who were scattered abroad. They were in foreign cities among false religions. While it is not so difficult to obey God when we are with those that believe like we do, when we are with people with other beliefs we can find it harder to stand firm. James knew this and that is why he was giving this reminder and caution.
Directly after reminding his readers that God will never tempt us, he points out that temptation comes from our own desires. Just as we learned with Eve yesterday. She wouldn’t have been able to be tempted by the enemy and fruit if she wasn’t desiring fruit. All the enemy had to do was convince her that God was withholding something from her.
That is the same way that it works for us. We aren’t tempted by things that we aren’t desiring. If we are struggling with temptation we need to address the real problem which means identifying it. But before we can do that we have to admit that we are being tempted. That may not be an easy thing to admit. We like to think that we are doing well in our spiritual life and struggling with temptation doesn’t exactly fit that image.
Knowing what tempts us will help us see where we doubt God and His goodness towards us. If we are tempted by money making schemes we likely doubt God’s provision of a livelihood or maybe we doubt that He will give us our needs because we don’t see our wants being supplied. If we are tempted in more sensual ways then maybe we are doubting God’s call to faithfulness. There are many ways that we can be tempted and things to be tempted by but we still have a choice. How we choose reveals our level of trust in God.
Making It Personal
Is temptation something you will admit to struggling with? What is the temptation you deal with most often? Why do you think that is a struggle for you?
Making It Personal Kids
How do you know you are being tempted? What are some things that you are tempted about? How do you deal with temptation?
Father, thank You for James’ reminder that we need to be alert for temptation in our lives. Help us be honest with ourselves regarding our temptations. In Jesus’ name, amen.