” Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:13-15, ESV).
Sometimes when we make a mistake and sin, we attribute the cause for the evil that we do to God. We say it is God causing this temptation in order to build our faith. Some may even flippantly say, “the devil made me do it.”
In these verses James explains what causes temptation and what are the consequences of continually yielding to temptation.
James declares that God cannot be tempted with evil nor does God tempt anyone (vs. 13) because He is unreservedly good and would never entice human beings to sin.
In other words, it just doesn’t make theological sense that God would tempt people to sin. God wants people to repent of sin!
James says that temptation occurs because of own own evil desires. Our evil desires entice us and draw us into sin.
At first the desire for something may not seem so evil, but when it begins to lure us away from our fellowship with God then something is wrong. Seriously wrong!
The evil desire works just like the bait that lures a fish to take the hook.
The terrible consequences of yielding to evil desires is sin and death.
James says that desire gives birth to sin and sin gives birth to death. So sin is the child of evil desire and death is its grandchild!
When we recognize that it is our own evil desires that tempt us, not God and not necessarily the devil, then we are empowered not to have to yield to the temptation. And, when we don’t relinquish ourselves to our evil desires, then God gives us power over sin to resist and avoid it!