Facing Temptation

Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed – James 1:14

What does sinful temptation consist of? James reveals two vital ingredients: first, it is being drawn away from God. Second, it is being enticed by one’s own lust.

No matter what we may tell ourselves, any action, any person, any thing that draws our attention and affections away from God is wrong. It does not matter whether it is a romance or rock star, a family member or a football team — it is wrong to allow anything to come between us and our single-minded pursuit of God’s glory.

This does not mean that we cease to care for or serve others; but it does mean that even our closest relationships and most committed labors must all be grounded in, and flowing out of, our love for Christ. Any other basis for a relationship or commitment is changeable, insecure, and idolatrous.

Notice it is our own lust that draws us away from God. Not every lust (strong passion or desire) is wrong. Jesus and Paul both used this same word to describe their desire for Christian communion and to be with Christ, respectively (Luke22:15; Philippians1:23).

Whether the lust is good or bad depends entirely on its adjectives or qualifiers. Is it the lust of men, of the world, of the flesh? Are they our own desires/passions, or did they come from God and issue toward His glory? If they are self-motivated or self-originated then we can rest assured that they are sinful.

Every person is tempted when they are drawn away from God by their own passions or selfish pursuits. Do not be enticed; do not give into temptation.