“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” –James 1:13-14
When Lexi is tempted by a piece of garbage, she literally drags me toward it. I have to resist her pulling and prevent her from getting whatever she shouldn’t have. When each of us are tempted, we experience a tug-of-war within ourselves. Sometimes we blame God for tempting us, but God doesn’t tempt anyone, any more than I spread garbage over the neighborhood to tempt Lexi. Desire is already in our hearts. Temptations entice us because we desire a thing; if we don’t desire something, it won’t tempt us. As James 1:14 points out, we are dragged away by our desire first, and then we are enticed by what we find. It’s the wanting that draws us from the path. But when our greatest desire is to do God’s will, our wanting draws us closer to God. We win the tug-of-war. And even when we do get dragged toward temptation, God’s still holding on.
Dear God, Help me to give up my desire for everything that isn’t your will so that I won’t be tempted. Amen