Tempted by Desire

 James 1:13-15 - Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

The word “temptation” holds a lot of negative connotations. Rarely are people tempted into doing something good, and usually falling into temptation results in someone doing something that they know they shouldn’t have done. But temptation is simply doing what you want to do. Temptation is doing what you think is best. This is why James connects the idea of temptation to the word “desire.” You are tempted by the things that you desire.

Being a believer in Christ and in the Word is offensive, because the Word tells us to not follow our flesh, but instead follow the Spirit of God. But what is the flesh even? The flesh is our personal desires apart from God. Before we knew of God we were captive to our desires in the flesh, because there was no other desire! There was nothing else we could fathom as being better than to pursue what we want to pursue.

Following Christ means that we trust that He will take care of our needs, and He will be the one to fulfill our desires. We fall into temptation when we try to fulfill our own desires rather than allowing the Lord to do His will.

We believe that God doesn’t care about our desires, and the only way we can achieve happiness is by taking matters into our own hands. We tell ourselves “God is the one who gave me these desires, so how can He be angry when I try to achieve my desires?” But God does not tempt us, instead He provides a way for us to achieve our desires through Him. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we find that all of our fleshly desires pale in comparison to the joy and fulfilment we receive through a life in relationship with Him.

Fleshly desire when conceived gives birth to sin which when fully grown leads to death, but a relationship with the Lord through Christ and walking in the Spirit leads to a life fulfilled.

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