Posts Tagged ‘ Temptation ’

VerseD: Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 ESV

Do not be deceived.

We are not promised victory in all of our endeavors. We are promised victory over sin, sadness, and unforgiveness and fear as we encounter temptation, troubles, and persecution.

VerseD: Psalm 119:11

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11, ESV

Why is reading and meditating on (thinking about) Scripture important?

We memorize it, and it guides us out of temptation and away from sin. (See Jesus in Matthew and Luke chapters 4.)

VerseD: James 1:13-14

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. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
James 1:13‭-‬14 ESV

It is not God’s fault that we are tempted and sin. The devil may tempt us, or his followers, but it really comes down to our desires and choices.

VerseD: Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1, ESV

How easily we act like ancient Israel, turning back to our old life and familiar temptations instead of fully pursuing our Lord.

Sin is slavery. Christ is liberty.

VerseD: 1 Peter 5:8-9

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:8‭-‬9, ESV

Most countries today know what Chrisitian persecution is, making it easy to see the devil’s tactics.

In prosperous countries, he is more subtle: convincing us to be selfish, self-centered, lazy, and apathetic.

Resist his enticements. Trust the Holy Spirit.

Out for a Walk … And a Run

Hurry over to Proverbial Thought for some wisdom from Proverbs!

Once again, I bring a story of our wonderful puppy! (You may remember the entries found here, here, and here.)

When we go out for a walk, we frequently find things of interest.

At least, he finds things of interest, things I usually find less interesting.

These things range from fast food wrappers, bones, other pieces of trash, spills on the walkway/blacktop, larger dogs, and cats.

He may not always be aware of the danger posed by such things, such as germs/bacteria, parasites, or fights with other animals. I am aware of these dangers, and I am quick to say “Not good for us. Come on!”

Here is what usually happens: he tugs on the leash toward the desired item until I give a quick tug right back, then he runs full speed away!

Perhaps you see where I might be going with this:

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”

But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.

11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Genesis 39:6-12, NIV

Sin is rather glamorous to us. We should face the facts: it can be fun and enjoyable to sin. If it was not enjoyable, there would be little or no problem with sin in our world!

It may look attractive, fun, or sweet, but, like with my puppy, it is garbage and dangerous.

We may strive to get close to it, to push our boundaries of what might be safe. It is just like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife. Odds are Potiphar knew his wife was “easy,” and Joseph could have alerted him to the situation. Instead, he only tried to ignore it instead of deal with it. (To be fair, he was only a servant, but work with me here!)

Eventually, he knew the cost of disobeying God was too great, and he literally ran. Because he toed the line too long, even though his master probably knew the truth, it cost him.

Notice my puppy still finds things and has to run away.

How many times do we fail to run away?

What thing or person do you refuse to run away from to protect yourself and honor God?

Online pornography? An attractive co-worker? Too much time on Facebook/P!nterest/news sites? Weekly lottery tickets? Gossip? Taking the excess [anything] from work? Driving too fast? Cutting corners to save time/money?

Stop pulling at the leash. Stop ignoring situations and God’s commands.

RUN!

Sometimes it means putting away the computer, or even giving it up completely (I would miss you, but I understand). Sometimes it means avoiding the store or certain people. Sometimes it means asking for a transfer or even quitting your job. Sometimes it means giving up the keys.

RUN!

Sin is never worth the cost.

Besides, I like cuddling with and getting kissed by my puppy.

God likes being close and indwelling us.

If my puppy gets into the garbage or a fight, I am wary of even touching him or letting him touch me.

Our sin is pushing God out.

RUN FROM THE TEMPTATION AND THE SIN!

RUN TO THE OPEN ARMS OF GOD!

Walking the Boundary

Play it safe and get some wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

In early May I talked about my wonderful puppy and the lessons he helps us learn about our walk with God (here and here).

Now for another puppy inspired lesson!

He has a really funny habit.

Whether it is something we are eating/using/moving or something we left sitting out and he wants it, he makes an attempt to get whatever it is.

We sternly warn him to stay away (“Not for puppies! Stay away!”).

What does he do?

He gets as close as he can, laying down with his nose a few inches away. Then he scoots closer, without standing or even sitting up, to the point that his nose is less than an inch away. He might even try to lick at whatever he is not supposed to have when we look away.

We calmly say, “No. Not for you.”

He growls, bares his teeth, yips, and scoots back an inch or two … only to scoot closer, again.

Draw near to …

How many times do we do this very thing?

God’s Word warns us “Do not commit adultery.” Jesus goes as far as to say, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Yet, we ask our pastors “How far is too far when dating?”

God’s Word warns us “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22, ESV)

Yet, we watch all manner of TV programs and movies full of things promoted as good that the Bible warns are dangerous or evil.

God’s Word warns us “Do not gossip.”

Yet, we ask for prayer requests for our neighbors, and share way more information than is necessary.

God’s Word asks us to “Draw near to God . . . resist the devil” (James 4:7-8).

Yet, we say we are satisfied attending church once a week and never sharing or faith or helping others … or we never open or Bible … or never pray … and we say “I am so close to God!”

We spend more time walking as close as we can to sin while maintaining the appearance of righteousness.

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
Proverbs 4:10-17

“Woe to you, . . . you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Matthew 23:27-28

Rather, what we should be doing is this:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:4-10