James 1:14 (ESV)
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
The famous bible commentator Matthew Henry once said, “The best of saints may be tempted to the worst of sins.” James has put to bed the thought that temptation originates with God, and now turns to the real culprit when it comes to sin: our own desires. There are innumerable things in the world that can tempt us, but only if we have a desire for them. Is it sexual fulfillment that you desire? Notoriety? Power? Wealth? Beauty? Revenge? The list, as you know, goes on and on.
Temptation merely brings something to your table. It’s your desire for that thing that gets it from the table to your mouth. Its critical to remember that the heart is deceitful of all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9), and so you must guard it well and consistently (Prv. 4:23). One of my recent radio guests quoted from a book by a Christian counselor who said that we should always be suspicious of our own hearts. To that I add a hearty “Amen!”
What about the “lured and enticed” aspect of today’s verse? Lured is to notice…enticed is to pursue. You go to FoxNews.com and notice a story that is accompanied by a provocative picture – you have been lured. You click on the link to check it out – you have been enticed. See how easy that happens? Substitute whatever you want; it always works the same way.
Temptation is real. Your desires exist. Luring and enticing are happening 24/7 and it’s entirely up to you as to what happens next.