We have all felt exactly what James has describedâ€”being dragged away by our own desires and being enticed. We know all too often we commit the latter clause: giving birth to sin. And it is only a matter of time before that sin within us gives birth to death.
So letâ€™s not even give death a chance to be bornâ€”by not letting sin be born. And thatâ€™s only possible if we abort desire and temptations in their earliest stages.
Paul describes his struggle to flee from evil desires and subject his body to Christ: â€œFor what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I doâ€ (Rom 7:15). Paul, being human, faced the exact same circumstances Christians do daily. We have a desire within to follow Godâ€™s law and abide in His Grace. Yet at the same time, there are evil desires in us to indulge our bodies in the pleasures of the world.
Joseph exemplifies how we abort these desires. He was seventeen, an age when supposedly hormones are at their peak. But when Potipharâ€™s wife tempted him, he immediately exclaimed, â€œHowâ€¦can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?â€ (Gen 39:9). Without a second thought, he fled and ran outside. This was a time before the Ten Commandments were given to Godâ€™s people. Yet Joseph was able to resist this temptation because he had a heart set on God.
Without God, we loseâ€”we will give into temptation. We cannot abort desire merely by self-will. Rather, we have to call upon Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, to guide us and strengthen us by His Holy Spirit and completely remove the roots of evil within us. For you â€œare controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in youâ€ (Rom 8:9, NIV). Then when we are tempted we will be able to be prove loyal to God, rather than to our bodies. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit will we be able to empty ourselves, deny ourselves, and discipline ourselves so that God may be glorified through our bodies.