Today I’ve decided to take a break from the Old Testament, and return to review James (again). Since this is the second time we’ll be going through this book, please don’t be surprised if you find I’ve accidentally touched on a topic I’ve already written on… With that said; — This is what God has given me today in His word:
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. (James 1:13-15)
First comes a desire to sin, then comes the opportunity (the actual temptation itself) to sin, then this desire, coupled with the opportunity to sin (if there’s a desire to sin, you can be sure the Devil will make sure it’s met with near overwhelming amounts of opportunity), turns into actual sin. Sin in its turn, leads to Spiritual death. Not a pleasant thought, I know. So, the question comes, how can someone stop his or her own desires? … Well, you see, the thing is, no one can stop their desires. It’s simply not possible to just “stop” a thought, or a desire. To try to stop yourself from thinking a thought is a paradox; for obvious reasons. So then, does that mean we’ll doomed to end up Spiritually dead the moment a “bad” thought enters our mind (and then turns into a bad desire)? Not at all!
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Notice in the above where it says, “And God is faithful.” Specifically note how it doesn’t say, “man is powerful enough to stop himself from having certain thoughts.” Or that, “man can stop himself from having desires.” No, none of that. It says, “And God is faithful.” You see, it’s impossible for a man to stop himself from falling into Spiritual death. If it was possible, Jesus’ death is rendered null: unnecessary to the point of uselessness. Yet, since it’s in no way possible for man – I say “man” when I refer to all humanity, just to let you know – alone to stop himself from thinking, or having emotions, or having “evil” desires, God’s intervention is needed. God needs to “make a way” for us.
With that in mind, let’s now move on to what exactly this “way” God has made for us is.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
The way God has provided for us, is Jesus Christ. He alone can prevent our sin from sprouting into our Spiritual deaths. He alone can save us from our desires and temptations, and the way He does this, is by the cross. He took all our sin, all our desires, all our temptations, into Himself: becoming sin, and then was crucified. Thus destroying our sinful nature (though not our flesh, which we’ll still have until we die).
So then, how about we take our thoughts captive to Jesus before it turns into a growing weed, set on choking us to death?
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
You are Loved!