But each one is tempted, by his own evil desire; he is dragged away and enticed. –James 1:14
I love it how blunt James is. James just tells it how it is. Here in this opening chapter James goes straight to several points. This point he tells how evil we are. We humans are great at making idols of anything. We can make the most innocent thing to an idol. The warning James give is that we humans are inherently evil. We tend to slight to the most malicious things possible. We often will do evil if we can get away with it. Human nature is not aligned to do the right thing. We are often tempted not by outside forces but the desires of our own heart, which makes us idolaters. We love ourselves far beyond anything else. We often put ourselves before God. Though we may profess to love Him, James states that our actions speak louder than our words. Later on this chapter James writes about being a doer of the word, meaning to apply the lessons of Christ to your life and live in such a way that it is a significant difference then what we were living in before. To do that it takes our daily dying to ourselves and to accept what God says and to be obedient and discipline to His following.
Often I get extremely frustrated while driving. Sometimes you see the most selfish things done just so someone can drive faster, or get a few inches further. Yesterday, as I was pulling out of a driveway a car from the other side drives over and cuts me off as I am pulling out, leaving me in the middle of a road. Just as that is happens the light across the street turns green, and as I am stuck in the middle of the road as cars go around me giving me the “stink eye” all the while I am thinking all you need to do is let me through. Then as this a person on a bicycle rides up and also passes me in the all while calling me a very colorful name. When I finally pulled on the street to drive I was so mad. I was complaining to the Lord asking, “WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT!” But as I was venting frustration to the Lord, He gently reminded me that I can be as foolish and selfish as these people were. God reminded me that I too have placed idols in my life and I have blazed over friendships, people, relationships, and to get what I want. That to God is my “evil” desire. Even though it may be a good thing, I can turn it into an idol. I can blaze ahead and not think of others as I strive towards that. I pray that God continue to expose in me the sin that entangles me and draws me away from Him. I want my life to totally focus on one thing, loving Jesus and following Him. Make everything in my life all about Him. Throwing aside the idols of my life and striving towards Him.
Lord thank you for the gentle reminder that I make many things idols. Help me to strive for your pleasure, your love, and your approval only. Thank you Lord.