Monday, January 11, 2010

Tempted and Tried?

Ever have a week where you were so tempted and tried? Tempted to complain, do things that you know are wrong, listen to things you should not be listening to, tempted to do everything other than the things we know we should be doing? Temptation-- an enticement or invitation to sin with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience. How many times this past week have you flirted with temptation? I Corn. 10:13--no temptation has seized you except was is common to man. God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it. God is always there to help through it. Jesus was tempted in the same way we are--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He never even entertained the fact of doing anything but the perfect will of the Father.
One of the things that make us cave into temptation so quickly is, we often have the sense that we are going to fail anyway, so why even try. How hard have you tried to resist temptation this week? Do you cave in right away without even trying to resist it? Not even putting up much of a fight? Or do you say, “ why struggle when I know it is going to happen again?” Our temptations feed on our weaknesses and our bent desires. It is when you give in to it and do what you know you shouldn’t -- take the easy way out. It may be the easy way out, but the results of taking the easy way out have a much more devastating effect on us. Sometimes it does not just effect us, but others in our lives.
Do you often place yourself in dangerous territory without God being with you? Are you letting temptation have a vote in the way you live your life? As Christians we are all going to face temptations, we just want to grow smarter and stronger with our struggles with them. Jas 1:4--are you prepared for them? I Corn. 10:13--God will show us a way out when we are tempted. Are you looking for the way out that God is showing you? Are you memorizing his word so that you will be equipped -- bringing your thoughts back on truth? Do you just keep flirting with the temptation having that unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach knowing that it is going to be a bad thing and yet you continue to be tempted? When you give in to it and you know better, how does that leave you feeling? A whole lot worse than if you had not continued to entertain the thought of the temptation.
Are you memorizing his word so that you will be equipped -- bringing your thoughts back on truth? We are going to continue to be tempted as long as we live, and we are still going to fail from time to time We are not ignorant of Satan and his ways. It is not the temptation itself that is wrong -- it is what we do with it and about it. If you react upon it and you know that it is wrong it gives birth to sin and sin gives birth to death. When tempted - we also have the ability to draw the line and hold fast to our convictions. Temptations come subtly and when we are the most vulnerable. Temptation can also “ perfect us” -- we become more aware of them, and we grow stronger, we listen closer to the that “ still small voice “ of God and we in turn find that doing the right thing and not caving in leads to a more peaceful and abundant life. We will always have temptations in our lives, but the outcome of the temptation will be a result of your response to it. There are going to be days when you will eat that chocolate cake or watch the ball game instead of mowing the lawn--but you know what the results will be when you do it too often!!
Father: you made it through all of the temptations that you faced here on earth. It is so hard when our bodies and minds crave the forbidden and our hearts constantly cry “ surrender “ to those temptations. We know that you promise escape, but sometimes that faintly lighted exit in the distance seems so far away. Sweet Savior, when we are too weak to resist temptation, whisper Your faithfulness to us. When we turn away from all help, give us the strength to change direction and turn to You. We ask these things in Your Precious Name. Amen
This week-- are you going to listen and flirt with temptation or are you going to stand firm and turn your ear? Think about the consequences then decide. Have a blessed week. Janice- Encourager Coach CR FBC

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