"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
I have been reading through the Bible chronologically since last September. I should be done by now, but have let things get in the way and am currently in my last few weeks. It has been such a journey. I read through the Bible when I was younger. It was a rule in our house. To get your driving permit, you had to read the Old Testament. For your license, the New Testament. Truthfully though, I probably skimmed more than read. I didn't want to postpone my permit or license any longer than necessary. I read just enough to give my parents a summary of the chapters each day. Now that I'm reading through it on my own, desiring to learn more and soak Scripture in, I am enjoying completely. When I'm finished, I will start again. How important it is to eat our Daily Bread!
When I read the book of James yesterday, I was struck by these verses. I knew them to be true, yet how often have I in my own life accused God of tempting me. I might call it a 'test' instead to try and justify my accusations, but nonetheless I was wrong in doing so. God always gives a door out to resist temptation, but He does not lead us into the room. Satan does, to try and ruin our reputation, as well as taking down a few onlookers in the process. As believers, we need to be clothed in armor. We need to recognize that our desires are at war within us, raging and trying to cripple us. The Holy Spirit is at work changing us, but we give our flesh power when we submit to our desires. And how often does it birth sin! Before long that desire grows and grows until it brings forth death. We need to guard our hearts. Clothe ourselves in Jesus. Submit to the Holy Spirit. And pray for our brothers and sisters. "Every good and perfect gift is from above," and in letting Christ pour through our lives, being visible to the world, we can allow Him to magnify His perfect gifts rather than us magnifying our broken lives that our wrapped in tempting desires and death.
God has made His children beautiful. And blessed. "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12