As I have been praying for wisdom, I have loved seeing what God is doing in my own heart, and what He is opening my eyes to. I knew that today would be the day I would write about temptations and sin, but I didn't know it would also be what we talked about in church today. God is so cool like that. He truly does work everything together, and there are no coincidences only Godincidences!
While God may test us, and allow us to live our life out in trials, He never tempts us. Temptation does not come from God, and it doesn't even come from Satan. Temptation comes from within, from our own sin nature. You see Eve didn't need to be told she should desire to be like God and know all things, this was already in her heart, Satan just came along and baited a hook, asked her a few questions, and waited for her to doubt the truths she knew about God, and His own words to her.
Let's take a look at what James has to say about temptation and sin:
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:13-15
James explains that each one of us is tempted when we are carried away and enticed by our own lust. So I would draw from this that it is very possible and most likely that the things we want are not initially wrong or even sinful. Let's think about this for a minute. I want to take a look at three things that I personally want in my own life.
What I Want:
1. A Loving Marriage
2. Children Who Obey Me
3. A Fit & Healthy Body
Those are the things I want and there is nothing wrong with any of those desires. As a matter of fact, I consider these worthy desires, and ones that God would be pleased with.
When What I Want Becomes A Lust Trap:
So how could these good things turn bad? I am tempted when I want these things so badly, that I lust after them. Basically these things that I want take control over me. If I'm a Christian, I have allowed God to be on the throne of my life, but when God doesn't provide these things for me, the things I want, my temptation is to remove God from His throne, and put myself up there in His place. In this way, I am so enticed by my lust that I start to believe the same lie Eve believed. That life is better when I'm on the throne. That God is not providing me with all of the things I want, so I need to take matters into my own hands.
My Lust Gives Birth To Sin:
Technically even in my lust I have already sinned. I have sinned against God. " but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28. While my lust may still be internal I am turning my back on God, which is in turn bound to give birth to my outward sin. If I'm willing to sin against God, I am more than willing to sin against my family and my own body (which belongs to God). It usually looks a little like this:
1. I start complaining that my husband isn't showing me enough love or attention. I am no longer content in my marriage and it shows. I nag, I'm bitter and unhappy. Basically I'm no fun to be around. Everything is about me, and my husband can't do anything right.
2. I am going to yell at my children, discipline in anger, treat them unfairly, or withhold love from them until they do what I want them to do. I may shame them on Facebook, or embarrass them in front of their friends, again it's all about me, with no concern for them.
3. I may start starving myself, throwing up, spending money I don't have on supplements or gym memberships. My fitness routine may become an idol, or my body itself.
It's Time To Die:
This is the part we cannot miss. This lifestyle of temptation----lust----sin leads to DEATH! Don't believe the lies, it doesn't matter who says these ways will work, it doesn't matter how much you believe treating your kids harshly will "get them in line", and "make them respect you", it WILL NOT! You can starve yourself for a time, but you will not be fulfilled regardless of how much weight you lose. These sins leave you empty and lonely. They hurt others even destroying relationships. Your sin will never work for you. Jesus had to die on a cross because of our sin, it even brought death to Him, do you really think it will be any different with you?
Is there any area of your life where you have seen sin destroy? James is giving us a warning that we cannot take lightly. Tomorrow we will talk about fighting this battle, and that my friends, is something to be excited about!
View 31 Days Through The Book Of James here.