Our Own Worst Enemy
James 1:13-16 says “ 13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16Do not err, my beloved brethren.”
It’s an unfortunate truth that God takes the brunt of most of our complaints. When temptations come it is easy to say that it is God tempting us as a type of test; but we see from these verses that God “cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man”. We see plainly and simply that it is not within Gods capabilities to be tempted or to tempt. So where does this leave us? If it isn’t God who tempts us; then who does?
Verse 14 has the answer. The verse starts out with “but” showing a continuation from verse 13 and giving the comparison. The verse says “but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed”. Did you catch who tempts us? The verse states that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust. It is not God who tempts us, it is not even Satan; it is ourselves. We tempt ourselves with our own selfish desires and lustful wants. The verse says we are drawn away and enticed. This word enticed in Greek is deleazo meaning to entrap or beguile. We are trapped in our lusts, beguiling ourselves by telling ourselves the things we lust over are the things we really want and need. We are captives to our own sinful nature.
Verse 15 goes on to give the life cycle of temptation. The first part of verse 15 says “then when lust hath conceived”. One of the meanings of the word ‘conceive’ is “to form an idea or plan”. Here we see the first step in the temptation cycle: When lust hath conceived, or in other words, when lust takes over the mind and becomes all you can think about, such to the extent that you start to think about and plan how you are going to fulfil that lust. The verse continues “it bringeth forth sin”. Step two in the temptation cycle is the birth of sin. When lust is deeply implanted in the mind and heart sooner or later it will come to pass, bringing forth sin. Lust will always bring sin into your life. The verse ends “and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”. The third and last step in the cycle is the bringing forth of death. When lust brings sin into our lives sin will bring death. Sin is defined as the breaking of Gods laws and this breakage demands a price, the price being death. Sin, starting out as a small matter, will always multiply into more. Sin brings more sin. So this sin, when it is finished, is bound to have multiplied in the person’s life, perhaps spreading through every aspect of their life, tainting their life to the point of death.
This set of verses concludes with a very sound piece of advice. Verse 16 goes on to say “Do not err, my beloved brethren”. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. James is saying here to not go astray. Don’t go wandering off after your own lusts. Don’t seek to fulfil fleshly wants. Instead stay on the right path, following after God and His desires.
Are you suffering a form of temptation in your life? If you are who are you blaming? Are you blaming God, wondering why He’s testing you? If so I pray you come to the realisation that God cannot tempt you in any way. Instead realise that the temptation you are experiencing is issuing from your heart. If you are going through temptation today just sit down and examine your own heart and see what you find. If you find any lust there take it to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to take the lust away, ask for His help in your life. Ask Him to keep you on the right path and not to err off onto the path of sin which brings forth death. Break the temptation cycle. – Andrew
Posted on September 1, 2012, in Andrew's Thoughts for the Day and tagged Bible, Christianity, God, Jesus, Lord, Lust, Religion and Spirituality, Satan, Sin, Temptation, Youth. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.