In yesterday’s verse, James was clear that God never tempts us. Today he tells us why then we are so prone to temptation…
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:14)
One of my favourite jokes is about the man who drove by a bakery every day on his way to work. And every day, he would buy a coffee and donut to eat at work before he started his shift. One morning his co-workers noticed that he didn’t have his customary coffee & donut, so they asked him about it and he said that he was on a diet, getting serious about his health. For about two weeks he showed up without his morning fix of caffeine and sugar, but then one day he arrived at work again with a coffee and donut. His coworkers asked him about it, and this is what he said:
“I was especially hungry this morning, and I was tempted to stop at the bakery, but I didn’t want to ruin my diet. So I actually prayed this prayer: ‘Lord, if you want me to stop for a coffee and donut today, please have there be an empty parking space right in front of the bakery when I drive by.’ And that is exactly what I found, on my seventh trip around the block!”
The sad truth is that we like sin, and that is why we so easily give in to temptation. I said yesterday that it is Satan’s fault when we are tempted, but it is our fault when we give in to it. Just like we should not blame God when we are tempted, we should not blame the devil when we yield to the temptation. It’s true that Satan knows our weaknesses, and he knows which temptation buttons to push, but we are ultimately responsible for the choices that we make. When we fall into sin, it’s because we choose to sin.
So how can we find Today’s Good News in this verse? We find it in the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 that we looked at yesterday. [If you missed yesterday’s devotional, I encourage you to read it.]
The key to overcoming temptation is to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. He is the One who gives us a new nature, and places in us the desire to live a holy life. It is only by His power that we can resist the temptations that are so appealing to our sinful human nature.
Today’s Good News is that you can resist temptation by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.