Sunday, August 8, 2010


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. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
James 1:13-15 (NKJV)

Wilson! Come back! Adrift at sea, Wilson is carried father and father out into the cerulean waters by the relentless rocking waves. Eventually, he is lost in the wide expanse where briny deep and spacious sky appear to blend as one.

The emotional scene from the 2000 adventure film Cast Away is an interesting illustration of the caution the New Testament writer James issues in the book by the same name.

After his plane crashes on a flight over the South Pacific, fictional FedEx employee Chuck Noland is stranded on an uninhabited island. In his first attempt to make fire, he receives a deep wound to his hand. In agonizing pain, Chuck throws several objects, including a Wilson Sporting Goods volleyball from one of the packages that had washed up on shore. A short time later, Noland draws a face in the bloody hand print left on the ball and names it "Wilson."

Fast forward four years. With Wilson in tow, Chuck is able to construct a life raft and sail over the powerful surf, enabling the now companions to finally escape the island. Soon, however, an intense ocean storm all but destroys the raft. The tethers binding Wilson to the craft loosen and the ball falls into the water. As Chuck cries out "W-I-L-S-O-N!" in gut-wrenching agony, the ball is drawn farther and farther out of his reach and is lost at sea.

In his practical letter that encourages living a vibrant faith, James addresses outward trials and inward temptations. The former must be endured, the latter resisted. He writes that each of us is tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires and enticed. Drawn away from what?

The Old Testament book of Psalm 1 helps answer that question. As you consider this piece of Godly wisdom, take special note of the progression: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

As a child of God each of us is marked with the blood of the Lamb. His nail-pierced hand is imprinted on our hearts. By the power of the Holy Spirit, dear friend, bind yourself securely to the Truth of God's Word. As we resolutely turn our backs on evil and set our hearts and minds on doing what He wants, we please God (Colossians 1:9-12).

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

Cast Away, directed by Robert Zemeckis, 2000

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