“No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15
Here is how temptation and sin work. Out of the blue, in a moment, some external stimuli — a song, a picture, an aroma — something that might be quite innocent triggers a memory. Unwittingly, out of our past, the things that we have battled with the most are dredged up. Satan takes the easy path, he does not need to tempt us with something new, instead, he exploits our past weaknesses. Our internal carnal voice whispers things like; “You deserve it”, “Just this once”, and “It’s not really that bad.” We recollect a false memory of momentary pleasure or escape, and we weaken. We are faced with the choice; will we give in, or reject the desire? In relinquishing to our desires we suffer spiritual death, but in clinging to Christ we have life.
Over the past five years, in ministering to the addicted in Brockton, I have seen this cycle of temptation and sin play out time after time. The cravings of drug addiction sadly all too often lead to physical death. This month alone we have lost seven friends to overdose, and we grieve for the loss of their lives.
However, we do not need to despair there is hope. Just because we are enticed does not mean we need to fail. When we feel weak and vulnerable we only need to call on God for help. He will quite those pesky, nagging whispers and deliver us from temptation.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
God, we give you thanks for being our deliverer. We confess we are easily tempted, and all too often allow our temptations to lead to sin. We ask for your help today in overcoming the enticements this day may bring. We pray especially for those struggling with addictions. Please help them recognize that only in you can they find escape and deliverance. In Jesus’, name we pray. Amen.
Blessings, Pastor Tim