When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15 (NIV)
Dragged Away And Enticed
Well, I certainly don’t want that. What don’t you want? I don’t want to be dragged away and enticed by evil desire. That’s good. What are you going to do about that? How will you protect yourself against being dragged away and enticed by evil desire? I thought you were the one that did all the protecting. Nice try. No, you have a role in your own protection. Let me think about that. Go ahead, think. Well, I do know when, where and how I am most likely to be tempted. I could make a firm decision to stay away from those times, places and circumstances that are most likely to tempt me. That is a good start. What else? I also know that there are things that feed temptation and evil desires to grow in me. I could also make a firm decision to eliminate anything from my life that feeds evil desire, that will try to drag me away and entice me to sin. That is very good as well. What else? I could make a commitment to turn and run from temptation when it first approaches me. Why would that be very good? Well, I have learned that temptation is a process. Yes, it is. It starts in the heart and mind and then continues on to action. Yes, it does. Once it is fully conceived it leads to death. I have had enough of that death. I want no more of that peace and joy destroying process to continue in my life. That’s good. Turning and running from temptation stops that process. Yes, it does. You have thought carefully about your role in resisting temptation. Would you like to learn how I will protect you from temptation? Yes, I would, that would be great.
How did I resist temptation? What helped me to resist temptation? You used God’s word to stand against temptation and resist evil. Yes, I did. The Holy Spirt will take God’s word and use it like a sword in your life. The Holy Spirit will use God’s word to fight in you, with you, for you and through you. The Holy Spirit will use God’s word to change your heart, transform your mind and protect your life. The Holy Spirit will use God’s word to help you stand against temptation and resist evil desires. How does that sound? That sounds great. Yes, it is.
Guess what. I have another role to play in my own protection? Yes, you do. What is that role? I must come to meet with you in your word. I must live in an intimate relationship with you. I must let your word dwell in me richly. Then my earthly and evil desires will be replaced by heavenly desires that come from you. Then I will not be dragged away and enticed by earthly and evil desires that are a part of this world. That’s true. Will you allow my word to dwell in your richly? Will you live in an intimate relationship with me? Will you allow me to give you desires that come from me? Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, at one time my thoughts and desires were earthly, unspiritual and even evil. I was easily dragged away, enticed and tempted. Not any longer. Thank you for using your word to change my heart, transform my mind and make me able to resist temptation. Amen
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