What tempts you?… Most of us are tempted by something! I can think of a few things that tempt me… a “Hot and Now” Krispy Kreme doughnut, Chick-Fil-A nuggets, hot pumpkin pie and whipped cream… the list goes on and on. ‘Wonder why I associate temptation with food? Probably because temptation has to do with being “baited”. In fact, when James, in the Bible, talks about temptation, he uses a fishing term, “enticed”, which means “to bait.” Take a look at this verse: 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. James 1:14
The dictionary defines temptation as a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. Indulging ourselves with some “unhealthy” foods may seem innocent enough, but the truth is that there are many things in life that tempt us that are not so innocent. James wanted to make sure we understood where those temptations originate and the dangers that come along with them.
James says we are “dragged away” by our temptations, which in the Greek language means to be lured and trapped like a wild animal. So what lures you? James says it is our own evil desires. Most of us don't think of ourselves as evil, but there is no doubt that some of our desires could be. Are you aware of your weaknesses and vulnerabilities? Is there any area of your life right now that is under attack? Jesus taught us to pray, deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:13b. There is no doubt that the devil knows your weaknesses and will exploit them. Maybe you are battling some temptation today. If not, just wait, you will!
So how can we overcome temptation and avoid sin? With God’s help:
Guard your mind! 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; James 1:15a. Conceived means to “think about it”. This sounds simple, but don’t do that! Don’t let your mind go there. (See Romans 8:5-6).
Guard your heart! 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come— Mark 7:21a
Temptation is real and it is all around you! Trust God to help you overcome the temptations that you face! Guard your mind and your heart. For far more, listen to FaithWorks Part 3 - Overcoming Temptation.