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Jul 7, 2019

142 We Are Tempted By Our Own Desire A Guided Christian Meditation on James 1:13-15

I’m Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

James 1:13-15

13 No one, when tempted, should s
ay, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one.
14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it;
15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.

13 No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.
14 Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
15 Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

Our thoughts are the basis of action. Though they often begin very small they grow into worldviews as well as actions and habits. A few years ago I was in the Navy. I had a chance to go aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (which is an enormous 95,000 ton displacement air craft carrier. as an educational ride along. I landed on the flight deck while it was out to sea and had roughly 5 thousand people aboard. I was able to go all over and so I visited the bridge. I was allowed to take the helm (with the conning officer and helmsman standing over my shoulder) I held the relatively small steering wheel. The helmsman showed me the screen of the course we were on and the margin that I was allowed to stay within along that course. I thought it would be easy to stay within the allowable margin of the course of the ship at the time. It was not. With wind and underwater currents the wheel had to be constantly turned back and forth. Several times the ship rushed out of the acceptable margin. I have reflected on the irony of this many times. This floating city was controlled by a steering wheel that was about the size of my car steering wheel. When I finally gave the wheel back over to the helmsman I was physically tired from the focus and nerves of trying to maintain the course of that enormous ship. I came to appreciate the automated systems and the helmsman who normally were engaged to keep the ship on course.

This is an analogy for us. Our thoughts and our desires are such small things, yet these things can drive us to violate the word of God and sin. Our self-discipline is the small steering wheel upon which our eternal course is managed. The most powerful being in the universe has given us control of the helm of our lives. He does not tempt us but he allows us to work against it. He allows us to struggle against our desire. He knows that we will not be able to do this. His mercy and grace allow us to overcome when we fall outside of the margins of His word.

How do you manage your desire? When you feel desire, even for good things, how do you respond to it? I believe that God gives us this right and ability to help us develop and grow. As we learn to trust him and have faith in Him our relationship with Him grows stronger as we realize how much we need him.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:
I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.

Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:

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Final Question:
How do you currently work to not give in to your fallen desire?

Final Thought:
In Christian history many people have gone to extremes regarding desire. In many situations our human desire causes untold amounts of hardship for us. When we learn to yield our desire and realize that it is part of our fallen nature, we don’t need to suffer so much. We can let the yearning of our desire pass by as we do not give in to it. As we humble our will before God, we will avoid the natural consequences of yielding to human desire. Similarly, when we fail to overcome temptation and we submit to our desires, we can recover with God’s mercy. There is nothing we can do in our lives which is beyond the grace of God. We can be encouraged to approach the Lord and do what is needed to get back on track and direct ourselves back along the heading he taught.

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