Are you more tempted by:
Amazing dessert or awesome pizza?
Fame or Money?
James 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Temptation, which is actually the same Greek word as Trial from earlier in James, is a fruit of our heart’s passions. Every one of us have a God-given need (not want) for fulfillment, value, wholeness, completeness, satisfaction. Temptation comes when our hearts weight the different potential sources to achieve our deepest desire for satisfaction.
- Cheating tells us that we can succeed through dishonesty.
- Greed tells us that we can solve our problems by buying our way out.
- Sexual looseness tells us that physical pleasure equates true satisfaction.
These lies are infinite, and they all are built upon lies, that we saw in the garden:
(The serpent) said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?…You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…
The lies are:
- God cannot be trusted
- True satisfaction can be found elsewhere
- You are on your own
But our hearts are horrible liars. The truth is that we are MADE to be satisfied and our efforts to find satisfaction in anything but Jesus is the equivalent of drinking salt water…it may feel satisfying for a second, but it only leaves us thirstier for the real thing, which is freely and fully offered by the Grace of God. When Jesus proclaimed his “thirst” on the cross he was simultaneously revealing that He Himself is the Living Water that is a wellspring of eternal life, pouring into and through us.