Posted by: rena | March 27, 2009

Tempted and Tempted

James 1:11-21. There is so much to explore in these verses concerning temptation that there is no way I can exhaust them in the coming paragraphs. I’m sure that further revelation and a much trained scholar is required. But, I want to touch on what I was shown, and perhaps we can all investigate this again at a later date.

I’m taking a running start from verse 11 because I like the analogy of the sun’s heat burning up what started out as luscious life. Vegetation needs the sun in order to grow. The nutrient energy received from the sun and what the atmosphere produces are necessary to make the plant green, to have it give back by producing oxygen—photosynthesis anyone? Yet this same ingredient, mandatory to life, is what takes life away when it’s received and absorbed in full force.

Verse twelve then takes us to temptation. Now, I’m not saying that temptation is a necessary requirement to anyone’s survival, but rather to make you aware of a desire that may spring up as a result of temptation.

It’s easier said than done, but focusing on God and being rapt in him enables us to guard our spirits against this temptation, and to fortify ourselves to eventually overcome it. When you don’t have a taste for something, it doesn’t entice you.

Verse 14 says, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Desire is a good, human, necessary compulsion that can, unfortunately, be turned into something unsavory and ungodly if the trigger-temptation is presented. Many people are not tempted to kill, even though the thought crosses everyone’s minds; the need to self mutilate doesn’t appeal to most of us either. If confronted with our own lust (a temptation that awakens that special secret thing in us) this thing will all-of-a-sudden surface. We can’t stop thinking about it, and we are enticed to act upon it.

Don’t err, the Bible tells us, in thinking that God sent this thing. Why would a God who tortured himself and promised to give us his Kingdom bring anything before us that would draw us away from focusing on him? He wants to be our main thought.

God’s “temptations” don’t draw us away from him; they are exercises he allows in our lives that build up our spiritual awareness of who he is. Sometimes we need to allow our children to make mistakes, not in anything that is harmful, but in things that will teach them. God may allow a test, but he will not force you into one: “Lead me not into temptation.”

He will never allow an exercise that damages our relationship. God provides the substance that can take care of our needs. He will “deliver us from evil.” The sun may scorch us, but God is the restoring water that comes up through our roots. We are aware that we are facing the heat, but also that God knows it and has supplied the reservoir needed for our survival.

Blessed are we when we endure this temptation (heat, haze, scorching, dry winds, wilderness), for we shall receive a reward.

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WELCOME to VizionStories Writes, where you see Zion (Vi-Zion) through ideas, thoughts, debates, lessons and theology. My aim is to help you see God in a new light, with a clearer understanding of His will and His Word.


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