Extreme Mind Makeover - the book on how to Overcome Sinful Habits and Glorify God with your LifeVictory over sinful habits that are hard to break - About the Book Extreme Mind Makeover About the book Extreme Mind Makeover - transforming sinful habits into patterns of life that please GodAbout Author & National Mens Speaker Steve EtnerOrder the book Extreme Mind Makeover and learn how to have victory over your sinful habits A Look At Temptation: The Appeal of Sin - Chapter 6 Extreme Mind Makeover

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone"
James 1:13

Everyone strugles with temptation; it's a fact of life.  Whether it's fighting the urge to eat that second piece of cake, fudge a little on your tax return, lie to your spouse about where you were and what you were doing, steal a lustful glance at that girl on the beach, or not tell your boss the whole story, temptation to sin is all around us.

Usually, along with the temptation comes the desire to blame someone or something else.  "Well, if my boss weren't so demanding ...," "If my wife would give me a little more leeway ...,"  "If she didn't dress so provocatively ...," we argue.  Our tendency is to feel that we have no option, that God has somehow put us in this situation.A Look at Temptation - understanding the appeal of sin - chapter 6 of Extreme Mind Makeover

In the book of James, we read:

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.'  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death." (Jas. 1:13-15)

We need to park here for a few minutes and consider what God is telling us.  First, look again at verse 14 and think with me about the words "dragged away."  When you think of someone being dragged away, what comes to mind?  It almost gives the idea that you're being kidnapped - taken kicking and screaming, against your will.  But that is not what this phrase means here.  This is not something that happens to you unawares and against your will.

No Fishing Allowed

It is a fishing term that is literally translated "drawn away," and refers to being lured away from a place of safety.  It's been a long time since I've gone fishing, but if I remember correctly, the purpose of the lure is to disguise the deadly hook by providing an enticement to the fish.  What would happen if a fisherman simply tossed a bare hook into the water without the lure?  Absolutely nothing.

The lure - usually a big, juicy, squirming earthworm - is placed into the water and the unsuspecing fish, swimming merrily on its way, catches a glimpse of something attractive out of the corner of its eye.  Intrigued, it changes the direction it was swimming to go check it out.  Cautiously at first, it begins to play with the lure.  Finally, convinced that it poses no threat and is quite appealing, it sucks in the lure and speeds off, thereby embedding the deadly hook into its mouth.  The lure has done its job!  The result is death.

So what is the lure that draws us away?  The answer is found in James 1:14.  We are lured; we are drawn away by "our own evil desires."  In other words, there is a particular lust or a craving you have for sinful pleasure and you allow yourself to think about how to satisfy it.  It begins as a tickle in the back of your mind.  Your thought process considers it, weighing out the pros and cons, the risks vs. the pleasure it promises.  Then, as that thought becomes stronger, it creats within you a desire to put that thought into action.  Like the fish, you cautiously play arond with it for a while.  When nothig bad happens, you selfishly suck it in and try to speed off without getting caught.  When you do, wham!

Why do we even fool around with it?  Why do we even allow our minds to think about it, letting it divert our attention away from God?  Again the answer is in verse 14 - it "entices" you ...

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