Sitting with the Shepherd
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1:13-14 NKJV)
Desire is the mother of sin according to James. We cannot be tempted by something other than that which we desire. The heroin addict is not tempted by pornography and the alcoholic is not tempted by chocolate cake. It's all about what we desire more than anything else including God. Addiction can be described as a worship disorder. The addict is simply worshipping the wrong god. Addiction defined biblically is idolatry and God hates it.
The thing that keeps people stuck in addiction is the lie that the idol of our heart, whatever that is, will make us happier than God will. This lie was originally perpetrated in the Garden of Eden when the serpent asked Eve if it was true that God wouldn't allow them to eat of every tree of the garden. His insinuation was that God was holding back something good. Adam was deceived into choosing his relationship with his wife over his relationship with God, by joining her in her sin. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' "Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:1-6 NKJV) It is the same principle today as the alcoholic who listens to the voice of the enemy saying, "Really you can't just have one beer?" so he chooses addiction over a relationship with His Father because in his heart he believes that it will make him happier.
Scripture teaches us that our longing soul can only be satisfied in a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son. As long as we believe that a substance or behavior will make us happier, we will be subject to temptation. We are tempted by our own desires. When we see the lie that they will never make us truly satisfied, we will know the truth that will set us free!
"Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness." (Psalms 107:8-9 NKJV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. Identify the idols of your heart past and present?
2. 2. How have these idols have failed to bring you true satisfaction and brought you pain instead?
3. What is the truth that will truly set you free?
My Father in heaven, O Lord You are the giver of every good and perfect from up above. Nothing that is worth having in this world comes from anyone but You. You desire the best for me as Your child and as my loving Father never hold back that which is truly beneficial for my well-being. I confess that I have sought satisfaction in other people, places and things. Thank You that You have never stopped pursuing the relationship with me that will truly bring joy and satisfaction to my life. Amen