Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 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. But 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 tells us we can be drawn away from God by sin as it attracts the fallen nature inside of us. Our fallen nature, then feeds our desires and it’s our desires which give rise to our actions, causing us to rebel against God. Moreover, the term James uses when speaking of being drawn away is the same term for using bait to trap and hunt a wild animal. So what James is saying is that sin and the wickedness of this fallen world, will seek us out like a wild animal to bring about trials in our life. The evil of this world will use sin as bait meant to lead us into a trial in order to draw us away from God. Evil does so with the intent to either bring us into everlasting destruction if we do not have faith in Christ, or to make us ineffective for the kingdom of God if we are followers of Jesus. This means, if we do not prepare for the trials we know will come, then it becomes easier for us to fall from temptation and sin. In addition, if we are not prepared through prayer, fellowship and the study of God’s word, then we leave ourselves exposed, and we can be tossed to and fro like the waves of the sea when Satan attacks. When we claim to be followers of Jesus and we do not study His word and we do not fellowship with other believers or spend time in prayer, then we make ourselves vulnerable, why? Because we are unprepared for attack, in addition, we place ourselves in rebellion toward God because we have not studied His word.
If we claim to be Christian and do not believe in the divinity and incarnation of Christ and we do not submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then we fool ourselves because sin has taken over. As followers of Christ, if we do not spend time with God in prayer, in study of His word and in fellowship with other believers, then we can find ourselves ill prepared to remain steadfast through a trial. And when that happens, we not only lose endurance and hurt our witness of faith, but we can be drawn away from God. We can be drawn away by our lust and desires, which in turn leads to behavior which dishonors God, as we give into sin. Moreover, as followers of Christ, over time this behavior can cause us to become bitter, angry and frustrated. We then blame God for the losses we suffered when in fact God gave us what we needed to remain steadfast and we failed to follow Him. When this happens, Satan can further attack us and lead us into greater despair, more anger and deeper sin until we run away from God altogether. Dear child of God, we have to remember, sin never gets tired, it’s always hungry and like a deadly virus it will not stop until it has destroyed its host and infected others. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesian church, “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” And we do so, remembering there is only one offensive weapon and that is the “Sword of the Spirit,” which is the word of God. Lastly, we remember that prayer is a gift, which brings the power of God into our lives and the lives of others.