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Temptation Comes From Within
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.”
James 1:14 NLT
One of the parts of sanctification (God and man working together to mold believers into a more Christ-like existence) is living according to God’s design and purpose. This isn’t something that most of us immediately begin doing when we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, which is why this is called experiential, present, or progressive sanctification. We are to work toward a progressively greater sense of holiness.
How can we do this? Part of the plan is eradicating sin from our lives, which is the most difficult task of believers! In today’s verse, the Apostle James gets to the root of sin — temptation, the seductive pull of the Enemy to get us to sin.
We’re tempted constantly. We’re asked to do things we shouldn’t in order to be accepted by other people. Advertisements encourage us to buy things we don’t need in order to keep up with some false goal of “the good life” when we should be sharing our treasure with the poor. There are internal and external temptations to take drugs or drink excessively to make ourselves “feel better”. The list goes on and on.
James is saying that although temptation always seems to be coming from an outside source (friends, peers, advertisers, etc…), it’s really our own desires that lead to sin. Learning to control those desires by first recognizing them — then turning away from them — keeps us from sinning. Actively turning away from sin is one of the hardest things we face as Christians, so ask God for his assistance to stand strong.
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