13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 NLT
I want to focus on just one phrase found in the middle of verse 14, “dragged away”.
The greek word for this phrase is based on the imagery of a hunter or a fisherman, luring its prey into their hands. A good hunter or fisherman knows its game well, and is able to catch what they are hunting for because they know the desires of their prey. Each animal is different, each fish is attracted to a different type of lure.
James makes it clear, we are dragged away, or lured away by our own desires. This will look different for every person, and what season of life they are in and level of maturity they have obtained in Christ.
Another example of this imagery can be found in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Where Cain was frustrated with God, and jealous of his brother Abel.
God warned Cain in Genesis 4:6 & 7
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
The phrase in the middle of verse 7 illustrates the same imagery as we read in James. “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you..”
Humans are considered “on top of the food chain”, but God tells us the truth that we are not. There is a greater predator than us; and ironically its a part of us. It’s our sinful nature. Our own desires, our own lusts that hunt us down to destroy us.
The bear doesn’t choose to be hunted or killed, but its actions lead it to a place where it is vulnerable to attack. The fish doesn’t decide to take the bait, but its actions bite the lure.
Our actions follow our desires. Our desires lead our actions.
Jesus put it this way, “Where ever a mans treasure is, there his heart will be also”.
The Good News is there is another drawing that we can follow.
32 And I [Jesus], when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
When faced with temptation and our own desires, we can either be dragged away from God and towards sin and death, OR we can be drawn towards God and away from death.
The secret though, doesn’t rely on our own actions, but rather the desires in our heart.
What desires?….rather….WHOs desires are within you?
Are they yours? or are they The Lords?
My earnest prayer for you, is that you would reflect on you actions, seek Jesus and His desires, to be drawn towards Him.