The Source of Temptation

The Source of Temptation

Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. (James 1:12-15)

Reflection:

James makes it clear that God never tempts us. Because Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, we might think that God is the source of temptation. But these ideas are two sides of the same coin. God never tempts us, but wants to deliver us. The source of temptation always comes from within, that is, from our own internal evil desires. Also, James here shows us the ultimate effect of sin. Sin separates us from God and leads us to death. But if we are able to endure the trials of this world with the strength God will provide through prayer, we will inherit eternal life. 

 

Prayer:

Lord, I confess the evil that resides within my heart. Help me to overcome! Give me the strength to endure every trial and emerge victorious over all my sin.

 

Life Application:

We should always understand the source of temptation comes from within. The enemy does not tempt us with anything external to ourselves but simply points our attention to the evil desires that reside within us. So begin by admitting the fact that evil resides within you, otherwise you will make little progress. Find what is evil within, name it, and begin the process of cleaning out your mind. Likewise, be careful about what you watch on television or the websites you go to. Keep careful watch over the doorway of your mind. Overcoming temptation is a matter of keeping our minds clear of evil thoughts. God gives his Holy Spirit to reside within us as a helper. Trust that the Spirit will show you what can stay and what needs to go.