James 1:13-18 (ESV)
13 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. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
What is temptation? According to the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words temptation is a difficult situation, a pressure that brings a reaction through which the character or commitment of the believer is demonstrated. For every temptation I’ve yielded to over the course of my spiritual walk, I was to blame for it. My failure to see the joy in my trial and the instant gratification of appeasing my flesh has at times crippled my faith and opened the door for me to disobey God. No the Devil didn’t make me do it and God never presented it. My flesh wanted and my flesh received and God has never and will never be glorified in my flesh.
Temptation is not rooted in up-building of your character. It will however, test it. It is hard at times to say no to ease and yes to affliction. As a believer that is a necessary act to crucify this flesh and be perfected in my walk to ultimately win souls for His Kingdom.
The succession of temptation
Tempted—enticed by own desires—conceived desires—birth of sin—death
God is a God of order and even in the written Word order is significant. At any space in this progression from temptation to death (unfruitful works) I can ask for His forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive, but also able to redirect the course of my life. Oh how I love Jesus and how much does He love humanity? Verse 18 says that He gave birth to us as His sons by the word of truth that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. I’m just going to drop my pen and marinate on this one for a while…