Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (James 1:13-14)
We are good at blaming other people for our problems. It is easy for us never take responsibility for our actions or identify ourselves as the problem in a situation. As this passage indicates, we even blame God when we sin!
But here’s a few important thoughts that I think are easy to overlook in this passage. While it is shocking to our natural man that the cause of all our temptations is lusts of our own heart, I think there is something even more astonishing than that.
“God cannot be tempted with evil.” This obvious simplicity of this phrase has been ignored by my uncaring mind for as long as I have known this passage. Listen to what it is saying – God is one who CANNOT be tempted by any evil!
This is great news for us. Why? Because in covenant made by the death of Jesus on the cross, we have been given the opportunity to receive the divine nature – to live and move together as one with the creator of heaven and earth.
In this blessed state of union with God, we are hidden in the cleft of the rock of God’s holiness and shielded from the tempestuous winds of our flesh that would seek to separate us from Him.
This brings me to my final observation. “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away…” This phrase also struck me. Drawn AWAY. Drawn away from what? When we cease to simple rest ourselves upon Jesus and abide in His word, the insidious lusts of our own hearts draw us away from safety in Him.
Let us abide in Him today. Let us delight in much time and thought devoted to Him. Rest in Him and receive His life.