“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no man” (James 1:13).
Temptation is that which is common to all men; it is not sin in itself, but it is what we are inevitably to suffer in our humanity. Adam and Eve suffered temptation, and yielded to it. Since then, it is something that no man may escape; it is fundamental to human existence. We are inclined to think that we are tempted more than other men, but that is not so; temptation is the common inheritance of the human race.
That which a man is on the inside – his personality and genetic disposition – determines that in which he is tempted on the outside; temptation focuses on the inner lusts; it is lust yielded to; whether covetousness, pride, lasciviousness, deceitfulness, vanity or by whatever name it is known.
A covetous man will be tempted in his covetousness, a proud man in his pride, a lustful man in his lust; the temptation fits the natural personality of the one tempted, which is well known to the familiar spirit with which he is born. According to James, each man is tempted when he is drawn away from the presence of Christ by his own lust and is enticed, or lured or trapped into that which is of self and not Christ – sin. It is the hidden lust that traps him, because the old man still lives and the lust of the natural man has not been dealt with. Thus, the natural lust of the natural man inevitably conceives that which leads to death.
However, we need not despair altogether, even though we will always be tempted, for;
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13); and,
“The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation” (2 Peter 2:9).