Devotion for Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:14

So when are we tempted to do evil, and how does it happen?  According to this verse, temptation preys upon our natural desires.  The word “lust” here is speaking of our desires.  It is not inherently wrong to have desires.  But when desires go unrestricted, undisciplined, and unhindered they will most certainly be used to draw us toward sin.
The word for “drawn away” is a word that is used in other places to speak to wild game being drawn to a trap.  Just like a trap entices game with something good, that seemingly good thing will be really harmful.
Here is an example:   A person may have a desire for financial security.  If this drives them proper, Biblical stewardship, and a desire to honor God with your money and stuff then it is a God- honoring desire.  But this natural desire left unchecked may quickly turn into greed, theft, lack of generosity, or lack of trust in God.

Application:  So what is a person to do with their desires?  Ultimately, the best answer is to allow God to be the person who fulfills all of our desires.  This takes faith and trust in Him.
How do we do this?  The answer can be found in spiritual disciplines.  As we spend time with God in prayer and His Word, we will get to know Him better.  As we are obedient to do what He asks, He begins to align our desires with His will for us.  Today, when you are tempted, ask God to help you align your desires with His.

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39 thoughts on “James- Day 7

  1. Being in a guy/girl relationship is very tempting! You have to chose between your lusts and desires between what God wants us to do and what we know what’s right. Mafalda brought up a great example of this is small groups Sunday morning. Sean Sears at camp told us about how he had to break up with a girl, because if he didn’t he was going to lose his virginity to her. As hard as it was for Sean to break up with her, he did because he knew it was the best thing to do, and that God would reward him later if he waited. Sure enough, God blessed him with a wife and three kids! Choosing between our wants and desires is really hard sometimes, but it comes down to how much we really have faith in Him, and trust Him to fufill our wants and desires for us! All of us are being tempted in school by our peers everyday. Don’t fall into the trap, cause trust me, it ain’t worth it! I’m gonna pray this morning to God, to have my desires allined with His!
    Have a great day at school everyone! don’t forget to ask God for wisdom and spread the love of Christ to those around us! 🙂

    1. That is a great example Melanie, and I think you’re exactly right. The only think I would possibly add is that you’ve got to replace the things in your life that you take out with something else. All over the Bible there are these encouragements/commands to put off, but there is often a command right behind it to put on..

  2. When a person desires something or someone, they like want it or can be very tempting!
    Just like Mel said, God wants a relationship w/ u & u can chose between all of ur stuff or a relationship w/ or Lord! Ur exactly right! She did! He had to choose to end the relationship or go futher and do something tht he would have regretted his whole life. But he asked God for a
    wonderful family and God has blessed him w/ awife and some kids. And just like Pastor Ben said u got to take the encouragements and put them in to ur life and take out the unnecessary things in ur life. 🙂 this is what I got out of it today.

  3. When people have desires they can be tempted..well when we let god fulfill our desires that means we have faith in him and that we spend time with him!! 🙂

  4. There is 2 things i know that has helped me in the past #1 pray about it. Ask God to get this thing out of my life. #2 Get a friend that can help you or a parent to back you up so they can come to you and say have you been doing that thing and be truthful.

      1. Great advice Blake! I like having friends help me, but many times I’m looking for someone who is a little further ahead of me in their maturity and walk with God. They generally help me the most. Does that make sense?

  5. Alot of my wants and desires have changed since I became a Christian. Having worldly things is nice, but not nearly as important as having a relationship with God.
    But, no matter how long we are Christians, those harmful temptations and desires can creep up on us if we’re not careful. Usually that happens when we focus on the world instead of God. and forget to ask God for wisdom before we act We need to.be led by the spirit and not the flesh. .
    Having Christian friends to lean on helps me alot. And reading the Bible and praying is the way to learn how to make right choices. Have faith that God only wants the best for us
    PS Abbie says hi, she really had fun at the Hayes on Sunday. Thank you all for being so nice to her. Now she wants to move here so she can be in H2o next year!

  6. I agree with what Melanie said, that relationships can be very tempting! And not just guy/girl relationships, but sometimes friendships too! Sometimes if your friends have more money, better clothes, or any better “worldly” things than you have, it’s easy to be tempted to want everything they have and more! It’s hard to think that stuff like that doesn’t matter when everyone around us (on tv, internet, & magazines) says that having more stuff will make you more happy! But it will only make you happy for a little bit, joy that comes from God lasts an eternity! 🙂 I know temptation is a really hard thing to deal with, but we have to remember that we’re not alone! We have God to help us every step of the way, to help us fulfill the desires He wants for us! 🙂

    1. Nice job Alexis!!! Its really a true fact most of the time people think of it as… oh i got a lot of stuff that makes me happy (but only for a very short period of time) God gives you happiness for eternity! 😀

  7. I know personally there are temptations all around me everyday at school! Like doing things so other people will accept you. Especially relationships. Im gonna be completely honest, i dream of being in a relationship. But, i know that i am not ready to date, and the pressures and temptations in school just throw it in my face even more. For some people it would be easier to say “Yeah, i’ve done that” instead of being embarressed to say “No, i havent done that.” Sometimes i feel like i’m the only one in my school who hasnt been in a relationship and it makes me feel like im some weirdo or something! But you know what, im more than happy to say i havent had those experiences yet. God has a plan for my life and i’m putting it all in His hands!! I know God wants me to stay pure, and have a Godly, good, life long relationship. It is so hard not to fit in with the crowd, but I know in the end i’m going to be so happy with the choices i make now. 🙂 Sorry i was so personal, i just thought this was a good example! Prayer helps in so many ways, and reading God’s word helps me incredibly. I know that the way the world is is not who God is!
    Btw the book of James is amazing, just the few verses we’ve gone over help us all in our daily lives! Crazy how God knows what we all go through 😉

    1. Lindsey, I understand what you mean about feeling like your the only one who is not in or hasn’t been in a relationship. You said like you don’t feel normal. Let me give you a little bit of encouragement:

      As someone who has dealt with students an dyoung adults for a long time, let me tell you what normal is…

      Normal now is to give your body to multiple people before you even meet your mate.
      Normal is to have to have a difficult conversation one day with your future mate because of that.
      Normal now is to not be able to talk to whole groups of people because of broken promises that had to be made in poor relationships.
      Normal is to date and break up with so many people that it becomes a habit to get in and out of relationships for the wrong reasons that makes it difficult to be in a life-long relationship one day.
      Normal is for kids who profess to be Christians to get in relationships with someone who isn’t and end up doing things they never said they would do “because they love” the other person. I’ve met people who told me, “I can’t take my kids to church because my husband won’t let me.”
      Normal is to have very difficult, not so good marriages (half of which end in divorce.)

      I know it’s difficult right now, but waiting is so worth it. If you are wise and follow what God’s Word says and don’t give in to temptation, you’ll be so glad one day that you listened to your parents, your youth pastor and those who are cheering you on to do so!

  8. there r temptations everywhere we go! I agree w/ alexis because not only r there temptations in guy/girl relationships,there can be temptaions w/ friendships too! 4 example,if ur best friend had the best clothes or shoes or anything else,that is a temptation because u could be tempted 2 want what they have and maybe think its gonna make u happier. So,next time ur tempted 2 do something,think 2 your self,is this really gonna make me happier?,is this the right thing 2 do in God’s eyes? Make the decision that pleases God and yourself!!!!! 😉

  9. I now there are alot of temptations every where I got and I like what Mel said cause she did make a really good point about have a temptations with someone else! But that is not the only thing there is stuff at scholl that mit tempt you in to doing stuff. But if you know what you are being temped into doing is bad just think tp your self “What whould God think of this?” And than hopefully you will pick the right think todo and God with thankyou for doin the right thing! 😀

  10. what i got out of this was…We are most likely to be drawn away from God by temtations and desires and what we really need to put our Hope and Trust in is God. God will fulfill us our needs. We need to trust in God with our lives!!!! Guys/Girls or other things wont fulfill us with our happiness!!!!!!! we need to be obedient with God and trust Him with our needs! so basically we need to trust in God with our lives!!!! 😀

  11. That is so cool to see you guys helping each other out, Great job! what I got out of this is that when i am faced with temptation I know God will help me through. I need to ask for wisdom and pray about it. One thing that i have learned is being prepared before the situation occurs and think about how i will respond, because making descisions under pressure makes things a whole lot harder.

  12. I just want to say how impressed I am with the h2o students. I personally think it’s great that you guys feel comfortable enough to speak truth and talk about the struggles you are having. You guys are so ahead of the game. I wasn’t saved when I was your age and I made a lot of mistakes. I wish when I was young I had been saved and had the Holy Spirit to guide me. I don’t think it would have made me “Miss Perfect” or anything, but I may have made some better decisions if I had been saved. Take it from me, it is much easier to go against the grain and feel a little out of place with your peers, (especially in school,) than to do things to fit in that later you may (no, will!) regret. I want you all to know that I am here for you. Whenever you are struggling or having a hard time you can come to me. I know I can speak for Sandi, Tim, Megan, P Ben, and John too. We are all here for you. U guys are a real encouragement to me. Love u all

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