Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is it really good?

Read Genesis 3:1-7
My wife Carol and I were in Genesis 3 a few days ago right before bedtime and this passage, though I have read it many times before, really spoke to me this day even more.
Every day we as humans, as saints who still sin, are faced with temptation. What is temptation? One commentator stated that temptation is “Satan's invitation to give into his kind of life and give up on God's kind of life.” So true isn’t it?
That is exactly what he did to Eve that day in the beautiful garden didn’t he?!
So often we view temptation itself as a sin but temptation is not a sin. In fact the bible shows us thru the New Testament several places where the enemy tempted even Christ and yet He was without sin.
The enemy had Eve believing the big lie that there was something better than what she already had in this amazing garden, life. We have to remember that temptation is not a sin itself,
So if we know temptation is going to happen and we have established that it in itself is not a sin then how do we resist temptation to keep us from the sin?
Great question and I wish it were easy to deal with but it does take work. The good news is we don’t have to do it on our own.
We have to remember to first pray for strength to resist the garbage the enemy is throwing at us. This should be done before we even get into the mess. If I am in a good spot today, I need to pray that "when" I am tempted, not "if" then I want to be able to resist it with the Holy Spirits help.
Sometimes we have to even run from it. Sometimes literally run to keep us from falling into the thorn bush. How can we ask God to keep us from getting stuck if we wait until we have jumped into the thorn bush? This is why God has placed men and women in our life to help walk thru tough situations like this. The problem is that we become consumed with shame for even thinking what we are thinking and “if anyone ever knew what I was being tempted with…” Friends, that will always lead to acting out from the temptation. If we hide it, we will fall.
We must have the courage and strength of Joshua to say no when we are confronted with what we know is wrong. Sadly, ever since that very moment with Eve, Satan has been busy getting people to fall.
A good passage to look at is in James 1:12. It reminds us of the blessings and rewards when will receive when we don't give in when tempted. The enemy is crafty is getting us to justify our actions isn’t he? “You deserve this”….or “you don’t have anything better”
When we do this we fall into a phase of anger and isolation that leads to shame and guilt and ultimately back to where we started early in our recovery…..hopelessness and emptiness.
See, the sad truth is that Satan got Eve to doubt everything and all of God's goodness. He, in his crafty way, implied to Eve that God was just this mean, strict, greedy, stingy and even selfish for not wanting Eve or Adam for that matter to share in all His great knowledge of good and evil. He made her forget all that God have given her and sadly instead look only at what God had forbidden. Wow! Sound familiar?
We too can fall into temptation can’t we? Remember, it is not “if” but “when”. We can fall into temptation and ultimately acting out, when we focus on what God forbids for us rather than the countless blessings He has given you and I.
I know I am convicted that the next time I start feeling sorry for myself and what I don’t have, I need to consider what I do have and count all my many blessings.
Don’t give up on God’s kind of life friend. The enemy wants you to give up and give into his kind of life and that life only leads to emptiness.
Use your tools you have before you. Pray Eph 6:10-17 before you get there, use the tools and people around your run from it when it happens and finally be willing to say no when faced with what we know if not of Him. If we settle for immediate gratification here on earth we are only robbing our self of many blessings that don’t get promoted as such, but in fact are so much better. The great news too is that we have an eternity of gratification in the next.

What good do you have around you that the enemy has been leading you to believe is not in fact good?

Blessings,

Rodney Holmstrom

For information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or roholmtrom@fellowshipnwa.org

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