Archives For Temptation

sheepfence

Caution! Looking over the fence can lead to cutting your chin. A better usage of your chin is to bow it in prayer, thanksgiving at the feet of Jesus. Bowing your chin in prayer and thanksgiving acknowledges Christ as Lord. Cutting your chin on the fence revels the desire to be the center of the universe and last I checked, neither you, nor I can run the universe. The call of the Christ follower has never been to look for what we already have. We have everything. We have been rescued. We have Him.

I guess looking over the fence started in the garden. God assured Adam and Eve that He had everything in control and hadn’t missed a detail. He even gave details about the tree to leave alone. Guess what? That tree soon became their “fence.” The enemy introduced a very seductive word. That word was introduced to get them to look over the fence. That word was, “surely.” The serpent spoke, “You will not surely die.” In other words,  the lie was, “You don’t have all that you need.”

Looking over the fence is a hard one to resist. We all want answers that fit with how we think it should be or how we think it ought to be. Therefore, we often think to ourselves, the answers I’m looking for are surely on the other side of the fence. After all, I can smell the barbecue goodness coming from the other side. I can hear the laughter of plenty. They never seem to hurt or want for anything on the other side of the fence.

Life always seems better elsewhere, but it’s not.  What is out of our touch, or inaccessible, often seems of more wealth than what is present and sanctioned in our life on God’s side of the fence. It seems to be in our human nature to desire what we can’t have, and at the same time despise what we have right under our feet.

I’ve often found I start looking over the fence when I stop ministry to God. Ministering to God is the safest place to be. When I totally surrender to the beauty of sitting at His feet, the fence has no power and the voices on the other side grow strangely dim, and my soul gives way to a song.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Psalm 23:5-6

War

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Enemy occupied territory that is what this world is.”

As Christ followers,  we have the greatest story to share in the entire world. Our story is His story, and it’s a story of how the world and each person can be saved (rescued).

Part of the Gospel is easy to share, and it seems, for the most part, to be received well. I’m speaking of the part of the Gospel that teaches rightfully that to invite Jesus into their hearts will bring them joy, peace and an overwhelming love like they have never experienced before.

However, on the other hand, there is a part of the Gospel that needs to be shared as well with the world outside of Christ. It’s a part that needs to be shared fresh again to those inside the body of Christ as well.

The Bible teaches that there is a real enemy and a real battle that takes places for the follower of Christ. To follow Jesus is to invite a real enemy to notice you and try to destroy you also. The call of Jesus is not for the weak. It is a call to pursue Christ, and with that call comes the pursuit of the enemy against your life.

We must teach about spiritual warfare and we must let the world outside of Christ know that to follow Christ is to place your life inside a real war. Those outside of Christ are in a war as well to an enemy that wants to keep them blind to the truth. They may or may not be aware of it, but it’s real.

The good news is God is the victor. We may find ourselves in a war that is rough as a raging sea from time to time, but we know we have a God that can speak “Peace be still,” and the waves have to obey.

Revelation 1:18 teaches us this, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

What’s the answer to the war that rages all around us? We win because He has already won!

Scriptures To Meditate Upon Today

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:11 ESV

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

1 Peter 5:8 ESV

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

frog_mr

Exodus 8:8-10

8 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said,  “Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” 10 And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.

Pharaoh said to Moses, “Tomorrow.” That is just crazy. Pharaoh was covered up with frogs, and the man of God offered to take them away and Pharaoh responded by saying, “Tomorrow.”

As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Today and not tomorrow is the best time to let God take the frogs out of your life. Now I know that Pharaoh was an enemy of the people of God, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from him.

If there is something in your life that needs to be removed, and God wants to remove it, then today is the day…not tomorrow. When God offers to deliver you, take it and be free.

Are there any frogs in your life?

hands

Temptation! We all can relate to temptation. We all share the topic in common. We have all been tempted. Temptation had its first appears in Genesis with Adam and Eve. We know the story all to well. They listened to the voice of temptation and gave themselves over to its seductive call.

Temptation is a serious subject. Temptation seeks to lead you away from THE WAY.

Temptation is the invitation to let go of the hand of God and follow your own way. However, there are two things I want you to know up front.

1. There has never been a temptation without an exit sign close by.

2. God will help you escape the temptation if you don’t let go of His hand

When I was a young man one of my jobs was to feed the cows hay. It was a cold and raining January and my Father reminded me, I needed to take care of my job right after school. Because it had been raining for days, he warned me not to take the tractor through the big muddle puddle, but instead take a new path he has made for us. He looked at me and said it really slow and deliberate. “Son, don’t take the old path through the mud, take the new one I’ve made for you. You will get stuck if you go the old way.”

After school,  I jumped on the tractor and went about my business. I came to the mud, and the temptation was right there smiling at me. It was speaking to me. “Go for it! You can make it through this little bit of mud on that big tractor.” I thought to myself, that’s right! This is a big tractor. This tractor can make it through with no problem at all. My Dad is just wrong about this. I can do this.

Now before I finish the story, remember what I said earlier. Temptation is the invitation to let go of the hand of God and follow your own way.

Well, as you might imagine I went for it. The front wheels went in the mud and came out. The back wheels went in the mud, and they came out. I won! I did it! I went on to feed the cows and on the way back temptation said, “Do it again.” The front wheels went in and came out. The back wheels went in…THEY DIDN’T COME OUT!

When we give in to temptation, we must let go of the hand of God because temptation is the invitation to let go of the hand of God and follow your own way.

So, what does the bible say about temptation?

➢    Where does it comes from?

➢    How do we deal with it?

➢    Does God understand our struggle with it?

 

James 1:13-14 (ESV)

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

➢    God doesn’t temp. We have a tempter.

➢    We fall to temptation when we let go of God’s hand and follow our own way.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

➢    You are not going through a temptation no one has ever faced

➢    God’s faithfulness sets a limit- His power of love can always be found in the middle of your temptation.

➢    He Will provide and exit.

Hebrews 4:15(ESV)

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

God can sympathize with you. He understands your weaknesses.

Matthew 3:16-17 (ESV)

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said,  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 4:1 (ESV)

4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

I love the fact that Jesus faced temptation and won on a personal level. He was 100% God and 100% man. He faced temptation with the power of the Spirit and with the Word of God. He won on a personal level.

The next time you are tempted. Pause for a moment and allow God’s love in that moment to give you the strength to say no. The greatest weapon against temptation is to know that God loves you completely. Then, embrace that love at the moment of temptation and win.

Christ won over temptation in the wilderness; let Him do it again through you