Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. -James 1:13-15 NET This thing of temptation, unfortunately I am an expert in, as is everyone who has lived for any time in this life. Unfortunately most of us are also professional "spcapegoaters". Do you know where the term scapegoats came from? In the law given through Moses, a symbolic thing the Jews had to do ritually each year when it came time for a sin offering during the Day or Atonement. They would kill a goat and take it's blood into the Holy of Holies to symbolically pay for the nation's sin and they also had to set a goat loose into the wilderness whose head was put some of the blood of the slain goat. That second goat symbolically carried the sins of the people away. Their blame was laid on it and it took the blame for what they did wrong. It was the scapegoat. It was a foreshadowing of what the Messiah was to do in taking away our blame before God. This wasn't hard for people to picture because we naturally don't want to face our consequences for our wrongs even today. We want to divert attention off ourselves when we do wrong and blame someone or something rather than humbly take ownership, repentance, and seek godly change. Some accuse God of making them sin even if indirectly, by saying it's just to hard to resist some temptations and God should make it easier for them. God does allow temptations to test us, yes, but it's not him tempting us. He equips us with His Spirit and wants us to learn to notice the signs of temptation and immediately turn to Jesus for power to overcome. It is hard to break old habits, but in Christ we can do all things! Now we know Satan and the demons tempt us also at times, but notice their absence in this scripture. What is it that tempts us according to this passage? Our own human desires. We don't need to blame anyone other than ourselves for failing to live holy, in our own flesh really is no good thing. Thus the war we must daily fight, by drawing near our source of righteousness and power to overcome. Jesus.
Christ in me is all that really is good. Thank you Lord for promising to never leave me, nor forsake me, because daily I need you. Thank you also for your shed blood that washes me whiter than snow, the times I do fail you. Because it is against you alone O God who ultimately I sin and must come to for cleansing. May I always confess my sins before you LORD Jesus, and hold nothing back, since you have promised me you are faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to purify me from all unrighteousness...Always . Amen.