Have you ever made one bad choice that grew into an even worse choice?
As I watched my children playing in the snow this past winter, my youngest daughter took a little ball of snow and began to roll it. The white fluff was perfect for packing. With each flip of the snowball, a little more snow stuck to it. The snowball grew in size until before us was a perfectly large bottom of a snowman.
James 1:13-18 (ESV)
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.
In James 1:13, James discusses temptation by our own evil desires growing from a temptation to birthing into sin. All too often I have seen a start of a small desire and it began to snowball into a larger mess of sin. It reminds me of the tiny snowball my daughter made that turned into a massive ball of snow.
So how do we get out of the sin entrapment? Do one thing at a time, God’s way, in love. The next choice you make, do it well, God’s way, in love. Once you have accomplished that task, do the next thing, God’s way, in love. Suddenly, you are snowballing the desires of God instead of the desires of self.
But James didn’t just leave it at that. He tells us who God made us to be in the very next verses:
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Knowing that the temptation of sin does not come from God, we discover in these verses who God is and who He created us to be. James is teaching that God is an unchangeable, steadfast Father of the creations of the beginning of light. The Bible teaches us that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24) and in Christ Jesus, you and I have been made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Now that we know who God is and who we were created to be, we can more eagerly fight off our own evil desires that are snowballing against us. Whatever trial you may be going through, whatever temptation you may be facing, take heart and cling to the steadfastness of our consistent upright God. Holding onto Him will help us to more clearly line up our desires with His so that we don’t get into the snowball sin entrapment.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I will receive You and hold onto Your promises for me through the trials I face. I recognize that these trials can be a part of a spiritual process to help produce Your good fruits of wisdom, maturity, integrity and character in my life.
Help me to recognize the sinful desires of my heart so that I may choose to stay clear of that path. I praise You that through these struggles- you are helping me to grow closer to You. Take my life and make it be fruitful for You and Your kingdom.
Take my choices and no matter how difficult they may be, help me to cling to the desires of Your will. Here am I Lord, cleanse me and send me. Amen.