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Navigating Desire--September 22

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. James 1:14

The wording in this verse is intriguing. When you hear the word lured, do you think of fishing? A lure is intended to give the fish a false impression as it seeks to fulfill its desire. Following that desire will ultimately bring it to destruction. What about enticement? That is a word that is frequently used when referencing the temptation of a man into sexual impurity.

The desire that is mentioned in this verse is misplaced. It is a desire that originates within the one being tempted, but can be responded to in a variety of ways. Think about it this way--there are men who do not fall into sexual sin even when being enticed (see Joseph with Potipher’s wife for example). The men who fall have a desire within them, but they are tricked into thinking their desire can be met through giving into the temptation. Believe it or not, the desire that leads to a sexual fall may not be a sexual desire. It may be a desire to be known, or to be loved, or to know someone else intimately. These desires are not wrong desires. They are misplaced desires when we try to fill them in ways other than those that God intended.

Desire is not bad. We are created to desire God and have fellowship with Him. Desire can be a big problem when we don’t truly understand our own desires and we try to meet them in the wrong ways.

Are you aware of your desires? Do you know what is driving you and your decision-making? Ask God to allow you to know yourself in dynamic and clear ways. Then ask Him to meet your desires in ways that will be life-giving rather than sin-producing. You are going to be tempted. Temptation itself is not a sin (Jesus was tempted.....and more times than just in the desert). When the temptation comes, pray that your greatest desire will be to know and walk with Jesus--and follow that one!!

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