“Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:15 NKJV
Each of us are born into a world of sin. Though we are not born as murderers, adulterers, drunkards, fornicators; we all are born with dispositions to certain passions. If these passions are not monitored, it is easy to fall into the heat of the moment and sin.
It is a sad truth that the day in which we live is full of temptations. At every turn there is sensuality and pleasure. It is difficult to live in a world that so frequently portrays that which in the end does not satisfy. That which entices our flesh and eyes to sin will soon destroy us; if it is not repented of and brought before the Lord. It is only God Who can permanently rid a person of a habitual, sinful lifestyle; but that which can be cured, must be sought to be cured with an honest, humble heart.
By continuing to give into “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NKJV), one continues to chain themselves towards an addictive lifestyle that will ultimately bring forth destruction and damnation. This is not a battle that pertains just to one person, however. It is a constant battle among each and everyone of us; though its passions and drives may vary, based upon each individual.
We must not allow ourselves to give in to temptation. We must be willing to stop and focus on the long-term effects; rather than the short-term pleasure. It is in this brief meditation where reason can be found.
“If I choose to go to the bar with my friends, will I be enticed to flirt or lust with another woman who is not my wife?”
“If my friends are alcoholics (and I used to be one), should I surround myself in an environment where I know they will continue to offer me free booze?”
“If I accept this position of work, it will be double the pay I was getting at my last job. However, I know I will have to do some tasks that go against my morals.”
“If I spend time alone with my boyfriend/girlfriend, I know that we will fall into sexual sin.”
"If I continue posting pictures of myself, daily, I will start becoming a prideful narcissist."
“If I retaliate and say something out of anger to another, this could cause damaging effects to my relationship with this person.”
When we are able to control our spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to discontinue the old self, and walk into the new self. Retaliations and prior sins no longer rule or have dominion over us because the pleasures and desires will be put out by the Holy Spirit. No longer will we be ruled by sin; but the Holy Spirit will rule over sin and protect us. Though the Christian life is simply a repentant lifestyle, it is a victorious lifestyle. Each year (and perhaps, each month), we should reflect on the victory that the Lord has given us within each of our lives, and the growth He has provided.
It is God Who gives us pure passions and desires. Though that which we want to do isn’t always bad; it can interfere and elevate into something that was not originally planned. It is the watering of the wrong seed, where sin grows into a dead tree. It is when we choose to play and flirt around with temptation, that we sin and become struck with guilt and remorse after. Though the world plays around with temptations and sin continually; it is the walk of the Christian that seeks to distance themselves from their old lifestyles.
Therefore, let us then know that when temptations come, it is not from the Lord, but from Satan. Though the Lord allows us to be tempted, He is not the one doing the tempting. “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13 NKJV). God is faithful to His children. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV).
God will always provide a way out of that which has ruled us for so long. When we come to the point of seeing that the temporary fulfillment of sin does not last; we begin to see the destruction it brings through guilt, shame, regret and laziness. Sin deteriorates productivity, and leaves us sitting in the pollution of our wrongdoings.
Let us then seek after God. Let us request of Him a new heart and a new mind towards that which will further His Kingdom; for that which furthers His Kingdom provides a unique, purposeful plan to all. We must choose today to long after watering the seed that will grow into a sequoia tree; rather than a leafless tree that withers and dies and brings forth no fruit.
This desire is easier said than done; and it is this way because it must take a miraculous work of the Lord Jesus Christ to conquer sin within us. I know of no other way; for if a man leaves his adulterous ways on his own; how pure is his mind? It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that a man quits adultery in both the physical realm, as well as in his thoughts.
Let us take the first step that will bring forth the lifestyle and watering of a strong seed that will not die. May we cut down the growth that has come from the seed that has brought forth so much death; and let us seek the Living Water that is found in Jesus Christ alone.