|The Oppressor, Sin Hunts Us In Order to Draw Us Away from God –|
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:12-15
The crown spoken of here in these passages is similar to a victory wreath placed on the heads of the athletes who won their perspective events (Like a Super Bowl or World Series ring today.) The Greek word for trials also means temptation or testing. Much like an athletic event can test the endurance of those who remain in the race, so to a trial can test our faith. And what James is saying is that every trial, which enters our lives can strengthen and thereby prove our faith. However, if we have weak faith, then the trial can become an opportunity for us to be pulled away from God by our desires. And when that happens, we can sin against God. And to give into temptation is not only disobeying God, but shows that we have not placed our full trust in the Lord. In other words, we by failing the test show we have an immature or weak faith.
Therefore, when going through a trial, we must focus on the attributes of God. These include His righteousness, His love for us, His truth and most of all His holiness. And by doing so it helps us to remember God is not the author of evil. God does not cause evil to happen, nor does He bring about evil.
Evil is caused by Satan, the spiritual warfare waged around us, sin, and the nature of the fallen world we live in. James tells us we can be drawn away from God by sin as it attracts the fallen nature inside of us.
Our fallen nature, then feeds our desires causing us to rebel against God. Moreover the term James uses when speaking of being “drawn away” is the same term for using bait to trap and hunt a wild animal. So what James is saying is that temptation is used like bait by the evil of this world. It does so in order to trap us and bring about trials in our life. The evil of this world will use trials as a means to draw us away from God and into everlasting destruction.
James in these passages is describing the process of how our sinful desires can take any temptation we face and turn it into sin and rebellion against God. This is important for us to understand. Because understanding this along with wisdom gained from the study of God’s word can help us to avoid pitfalls in our walk of faith. James tells us that when a temptation or trial enters our lives it can stimulate our sin nature. This in turn through our desires can entice us into sin. And as we contemplate on the temptation at hand our desires can take hold in our hearts.
And as that happens our minds begin to devise a plan which in turn gives birth to sin. Therefore, we should understand that there will be numerous trials in the life of a Christian. And knowing this we should avoid placing ourselves in and around sin, we know is taking place. Many Christians have fallen because they allowed a sinful situation or temptation to flourish in their presence. They arrogantly assumed they were strong enough in their own will power not to give in. Has a result, they relied on themselves and not God. And as a result, their ministries were destroyed as they fell into sin and rebelled against God. Therefore, we stand not by our own will, but by the power of the Holy Spirit Who indwells us.
The Holy Spirit helps us to apply God’s wisdom which we asked for in faith. God’s wisdom in turn helps us to keep the proper perspective while facing trials. It does so because God’s wisdom helps us to focus on eternity and what awaits us and the end of our time here in this dark world. God’s wisdom also helps us to understand God is not the author of evil. Rather, we face trials as a result of the fallen world we live in and the spiritual warfare waged around us. And as a result of our victory through the trial, we develop a greater joy in the Lord and a deeper sense of humility. These together make us more useful for the kingdom of God.
And we grow in grace, as we also grow in our understanding of who God is and our relationship with Him.
A closer walk with the Lord doesn’t happen by wishing hard enough. It comes by our actively responding to His call to come up a little higher. Active faith is always our proper response to being called by God’s divine grace. That’s what the bible refers to as growing “from glory to glory.” ( 2 Cor. 3:18 )
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” 2Peter 3:18