In James 1:16 we come to a precious verse that speaks of the heart of God towards us; "Do not err, my beloved brethren." These six words are written down by James, "the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ," in order to reveal great truths about God. First, the word err does not mean a small mistake, such as not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign (though don't do that, I know by personal experience) or to fail to properly reconcile your checkbook (who does that anymore anyway). It means to be lead astray, to be deceived, to be seduced away from the Lord toward some evil and often devastating thing. Our world today is filled with peril and we as God's people are not immune to the temptations of the wicked one (the devil). We will have decisions to make in our life and some can change everything. I believe James as he was writing these words, with thoughts of people who were dear to him suddenly and emotionally cried, "Do not err, my beloved brethren!" I believe even more so, these words were given from God, with thoughts of us His children, is crying out, "Do not err, my beloved!" Our Father knows the end of our erring and does not want us to ever experience it. He does not want His children to know the physical anguish of withdrawing from drugs. Nor does He want us to know the awful consequences of what we will do while drunk. And so many other things that His children have suffered because of our erring.
What will keep us from erring. It is not simple will-power. None of us can withstand the devil. It is not the goodness and devotion of our fathers and mothers (though that is a blessed example). God tells us in Hebrews 3:10, "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways."
God says of this generation of His people during the time of Moses, you always err. I do not believe that this means that every decision made by individuals was wrong, but, that in general, the vast majority of people would make a decision that would change the course of their lives forever and not towards the Lord but away from Him. We are living in a similar time. It seems that in general, nearly every young person of this generation will make a great and terrible error. It can be fornication (sex outside of biblical marriage). For many reasons this a very real and terrible erring. Drunkenness; oh how many have fallen to this awful weapon of the devil. Covetousness (money and the things I can buy are more important than the will of God); this may be the most wicked of the Devil's devices. How many young people will forsake the will of God and the Body of Christ (the church) because I must make money to pay for my car, my entertainments, etc.!
We keep from these errors by knowing the Lord Jesus, and His ways. We keep from these errors by daily "cleaving unto the Lord" (Acts 11:23). The problem of our current age is not that we are faced with to many of the Devil's temptations. The problem of our current age is that we do not love the Lord Jesus Christ and come to Him everyday. We do not assemble with our brethren and the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be strengthened by Him and His Word. This is what leads us to err and it breaks the hearts of so many, but especially God.
I cry out with the Lord, "Do not err, my beloved brethren!"