November 25

James 1:13-15 13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Man tends to think that the temptation in front of him is from God. God never tempts us to sin. He does test us. There is a difference. To tempt is to entice to act contrary to God's character. God would never do such a thing.

If a temptation is not from God, then we assume it is from the devil, just as the serpent tempted Eve. James says that temptation comes from our own evil desire. The devil acts only on the evil desire already in our heart. Don't look outward when you give in to temptation. Look within your own heart. There is an evil desire there that is not surrendered to the lordship of Christ.

James draws an interesting picture of the process of that developing desire. You have probably seen it in others' lives or even your own. First the evil desire drags the person away. That implies that he or she is not totally willing to go in that direction. Desire can be a powerful force. Then it seduces our thoughts. The desire gives birth to sin. The grandchild of desire, through its son, sin, is death. The wages of sin is death. What a horrific chain of actions take place in the lives of those who allow evil desires to drag them away.

The only way out of the cycle is to submit our desires to the life changing power of Christ. If you have been crucified with Him, the desire is brought to the cross and dealt with.

Consider: Evil desires are like venomous snake pets. You may think you can handle them, but eventually they will kill you.