12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 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. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:12-15; NKJV)
This passage provides perspective from which we can confidently serve our God and also from which we can investigate what is going on in our life and determine what the problem is.
Jesus promised a crown of life, that is eternal life, for those that love Him. Jesus told us if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. If we are faithful and obedient to Jesus Christ then we will be blessed as we overcome our temptations, will endure in this life, and be found approved by Him as we return to Him in spirit (crown of life). That is the process of God.
In that, we can be confident that God is not and does not tempt. It says clearly in the verse that “evil” is what tempts and there is no evil in God. There is no darkness but only light. There is no bad, only good. Our God is Holy.
So if God isn’t tempting us, where is it coming from? Evil. What is evil? That which is contrary to God. Who is contrary to God? The devil is evil and he is contrary to anything God stands for and he is the one that appeals to us in our flesh and tempts us to act in a way that is contrary. The devil is selfish. We are at risk of being selfish. Satin will appeal to that perspective while Jesus is saying deny yourself and follow Him.
If we give way to the temptation of the devil through responding to the desires of our flesh or our self-centered perspective, then we are in danger. This desire, if allowed to take hold, will give opportunity for sin and if the sin is born and not taken care of will result in spiritual death. That is the process of the devil.
So we have two perspectives and two processes. God’s is heavenly and holy and results in eternal life. The devil’s is fleshly and results in sin and death.
This provides us opportunity to reflect on our lives and consider what choices we are making, what sorrows we have, what fruit we are bearing and determine which perspective and process we are adhering to.
God loves us and wants us to be safe and secure as any Father does but He wants our heart and that requires our faithful and consistent choosing of Him. He does not tempt us. He only loves us. And He does and will equip us to endure temptation by the devil and to secure an eternal and living crown.