So, you’re just going to eat that cookie?

wordswag_1510664258922“Nothing in the world is certain but death and taxes,” Ben Franklin said.  I would edit that by adding temptation to the list. It is no joke! Sometimes we experience temptation in ways that are inconsequential like that extra cookie for dessert. And then there are those moments when our whole being is seemingly obsessed with food, drink, sex, ease, comfort, or stuff. (Each of us could add to that list.)  It is a struggle.

When temptation comes we just know that we want what we want now. Take it from a man whose heard a lot of confessions in my lifetime – you are not unique in your struggle. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to people,” Paul teaches. You might feel like you are the first and only person to ever feel the desire in the way you do, but you are not.

The first mistake about temptation is to conclude that failure is inevitable! No, it is not. God gave us two amazing gifts.  When we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior we are given His transforming Spirit Who lives in us- counseling, convicting, and empowering. He also gave us the power of choice.  You and I have the power to choose our response to life today. “So, choose life!” the Word counsels us. When we fill our minds with truth, when we put ourselves in the company of those who share our desire for the things of God, when we choose the disciplines of prayer, serving, forgiveness and such things – the glitter of temptation dims and the grip of the Tempter loosens.

The second mistake is to focus on the issue of our temptation. Whatever the fight, acknowledge it to yourself and God (Be honest about it, no excuses.) and then change the channel.  Call a friend. Go somewhere different. Pray, not just about how much you want whatever is tempting you, but also thanking God for Who He is and what He’s done.  If we simply sit and obsess over our desire, it will overwhelm us.

Make a positive decision today to build spiritual strength and reserves before the temptation arrives.  Let me illustrate from health practices. Too much of our current healthcare happens only after disease is diagnosed. We spend billions of dollars on pills and potions to cure our ills. We are beginning to understand that preventative care needs to be emphasized.  Controlling weight, getting up and moving, and eating better food does not eliminate every possibility of disease, but it strengthens our body’s natural systems of health.

  • Christian, there are choices for spiritual health that we can make today.
  • 15 minutes of real prayer and meditation each day is a choice will open pathways for the Spirit’s entry.
  • Practicing active forgiveness, refusing to take offense, is a powerful choice we make over the little things first!
  • Staying involved with regular worship with other Christians and creating strong, intimate connections to the Church has a value beyond calculating.
  • Reading the Scripture, with the help of a daily guide, gets God’s Truth into us.
  • Consistently serving in a way that dethrones Self and that is done for Jesus is a choice for health.

The Word reminds us that though our sinful nature continues to whine and look for our attention, Someone greater lives in us. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.” (Romans 8:11-13, NLT)  The struggle is real but our victory is assured!

Here is a word from the Word. Take time to let your mind and heart absorb this passage. Learn it, live it, and be an overcomer!

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
(James 1:12-14, NIV)
_________

King Of My Heart

(worship at this link)

Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
Oh He is my song

 You are good good oh
You are good good oh 

Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh He is my song

 You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

 When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on
When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on

John Mark McMillan | Sarah McMillan
© Meaux Jeaux Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
Raucous Ruckus Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
McMillan, Sarah (Admin. by Moniker Music Group)

CCLI License # 810055

 

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