Corrupt Desires

Corrupt Desires

When lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
–James 1:15-16

What is Satan’s strategy to deceive you into disobedience? James 1:13-14 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” The word that is translated “tempt” means “to entice to do evil with the promise of gain.” That is what Satan does–he lures us into disobedience by dangling the proverbial carrot in front of us. Yet what Satan does not disclose to us is that sin will never satisfy us. Instead, sin increases our craving for disobedience until we have destroyed everything in our lives.

Some time ago, I was reading about how an Eskimo goes about killing a wolf. He takes a large knife and he soaks the blade in animal blood. Once the blood freezes, he dips the blade again and again until the blade is completely concealed. Then the Eskimo sticks the knife upright in the frozen ground. The wolf, attracted to the scent of the blood, begins licking the blade. Its craving for blood only intensifies, so it licks faster and faster, not noticing the sting of the blade or the moment that it begins satisfying its craving with its own blood. Eventually, the wolf falls dead in the snow, destroyed by its own desires. According to James, that is exactly what happens with sin in our life. Look at verses 15 and 16: “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” Sin never leads to satisfaction; it always results in death. Like that blood-soaked knife, sin is appealing at first, but in the middle of that appealing temptation is the knife that will destroy us.

We need to recognize what I call the temptation equation, which is found in verse 14: corrupt desires plus the right bait plus the wrong choice equals sin. The first factor in that equation is corrupt desires. All of us have certain desires–we have a desire for food, a desire for shelter, a desire for intimacy. There is nothing wrong with any of those God-given desires. But Satan tempted Adam and Eve with this thought: “If you follow after God, you will be robbed of some wonderful experiences in life. Follow my plan instead. Go ahead and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Of course, Adam and Eve fell for that trick and the result was death. Now Satan uses that same line with us, and you and I have inherited from Adam and Eve that natural tendency to disobey God in order to meet our needs. We, too, believe the lie of Satan that if we follow God’s plan, we are going to be robbed of something great in life. For example, we think following God’s plan for sex only within marriage will rob us of sexual fulfillment. Or following God’s plan to give generously will rob us of financial security. Or following God’s plan to be humble will rob us of the recognition we need in life. We have inherited the tendency to try to satisfy our desires in our own way. That is the first part of the temptation equation.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Blueprint For Your Destruction” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.