14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire (James 1:14).
What do you desire? What do you truly want? What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about those questions?
Our verse today says that our temptations reside in the area of our desires. There are things that we want and we want them badly. We feel like we have to have them. If we don’t have them we’ll be incomplete and lost.
But what we fail to recognize is that many of our natural desires are not godly. They are what the Bible calls, “fleshly” (Gal. 5:17). Things that comes from our sinful nature and are opposed to God and his will for us. Since we already established that God could never tempt us to sin (because he hates sin and is never the author of it) our sinning against God primarily comes from our own desires.
Do you know that “lured” and “enticed” means? If your mom makes a batch of chocolate chip cookies, you might be playing in another room and smell the smell. It grabs your attention. “Oooo, that smells good. What is that?” The smell would be luring or enticing you out of your room and into the kitchen.
James says that our desires are like that. We catch a glimpse of sin and then our desires kick in and we are tempted to plunge headfirst into it. Just like when those cookies come out of the oven, we are tempted to run over and shove five of them in our mouth.
This is what sin is like and we have to recognize how it works so that we can fight it.
Read Mark 14:38
• What do you think it means that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”?
• In what ways are you tempted to sin?
• How can we help each other fight temptations to sin?
Our Father, our hearts are prone to wander from you. We recognize that. May our desires be your desires and not our own sinful desires. You have showed us the path of life and the pleasures forevermore that you love to freely give. May we believe you and not the lies of the world, our flesh, and the devil when it comes to true life and satisfaction. We need you more than ever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.