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Thoughts of the Day:

Growing through your temptations:


“Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him.”

~ James 1:12

We are all familiar with satans schemes to destroy the purpose that God has. Satan’s goal is to take advantage of us, in hopes that he can use us to get to our Heavenly Father. All temptations that we encounter throughout our lives are not signs of weakness but signs of how much satan truly hates us. We must learn not to be ignorant of the circumstances put in front of us. Every temptation that we are faced with is an opportunity to do something good. All temptations begin with us, from within our hearts comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, deceit, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. We have a whole army of evil desires within us. Many of us believe that temptation lies all around us, but God says that it begins within us. There are four ways that satan identifies these desires in us and uses them as an advantage. One satan identifies the desires that are in us. Secondly, he then plants the seeds of doubt. WATCH OUT! Don’t let these evil desires and doubts turn you away from God.

“Beware brethren, lest there be any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.”

~Hebrews 3:12

Thirdly when Satan identifies the evil desires in our hearts, and plants his seeds of doubt he had found his way of deception. However, satan is incapable of telling the truth. That’s why he is known as the “father of lies”

“You are the father of your father the devil and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources, for he a liar and a father of it.”

~ John 8:44

Fourthly, now that we begin to believe satans lies and fall into his traps, we then become disobedient. Becoming tempted causes, us to draw away from God trapping ourselves into our evil desires, which then conceives into giving birth to sin; when our sin is fully grown it then produces death. Do not become enticed by your temptations, instead refuse the intimidations of the world. Because we will never outgrow them. All in all, we must remember that the temptations that come into our lives are no different than what others have experienced.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you maybe able to bear it.”

~1 Corinthians 10:13

Here are some ways to resist the devil when you are tempted:

“Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving,”

~Proverbs 4:14-15

Trying to avoid environments that we can easily become tempted in is a must. If you are going to places where temptation will most likely occur, then you are headed down the wrong road. Avoid those places. Avoid those people. They will only lead to trouble.

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts,”

~2 Timothy 2:22

When you face temptations, get away as quickly as you can. Run from anything that entices you to sin. Don’t stop! Don’t think about it! Don’t hesitate! Just Run! Run away from the evil towards the things that will please God, such as faithfulness, love, and peace. Begin running with the right people. Remember that who you befriend is who you become.

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. … I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

~ Psalms 119:9,11

Start replacing your tempting thoughts with God’s thoughts. His word. Usually when you are tempted, a thought first comes to mind. The more you think about temptation the more power it has. Knowing that your thoughts are the first seed of every temptation. Instead of thinking about the temptation, set your mind on God’s Word. Find Scriptures that remind you of God’s faithfulness and His promises. When you hide God’s Word in your heart, when you memorize and meditate on it day by day, moment by moment. You will eventually not have time to dwell or think of something that is not of him. Hence the power of the word of God will soon overpower the will and sinful desire of that temptation. Take the promises of God and use them strategically against your enemy.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me — everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

~Philippians 4.8-9

When temptation arise and you’ve tried to armor up in the word of the Living God. But it still feels like you’re beating your head against a wall, your world around you starts to feel like its caving in around you, as you feel your self-falling towards the temptations. Fall on your knees, cry out to the Lord in prayer. Because the Lord is faithful, when you cry out to him, he will stretch out his hand, pull you up and strengthen you, God will protect you from the evil one. Jesus himself encourages that we pray for protection during the times of temptation. God will be more then 100% faithful in the ability to guard you, protect you, empower you and uphold you so that you don’t fall. Jesus encourages this because he understands. He was tempted in Mathew 4:1-11 just like we are today.

“And lead us not into temptation but deliver. us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and. the power, and the glory, forever.”

~Mathew 6:13

Our temptations only become a sin when we give into them. Recognizing the patterns of temptations around you and preparing ourselves is one of the ways that we can defeat this battle. To become successful in fighting these battles we need to learn to humble ourselves. Adjusting ourselves to the Lords plans.  In Mathew 14:18, 21, 22 these disciples left at once and followed Jesus making a dramatic change in they’re lives. If you want to be perfect in Christ and becoming holy as he is holy, deny yourselves, possession and earthly desires. Once we change and commit our lives to Christ it will change the value and the purpose of our lives. Excepting Christ is an invitation from the lord to modify our us. Switching into God’s value system promises a good return on any sacrifice we must make. Being a Christian is not for our benefit but for the Glory of God. Learn to eliminate the pride in our lives especially in our prayers. Praying takes our mind off ourselves and magnifies the acknowledgment of others. So, stop self-focusing your prayers on your outwardly needs, focus on the inwardly selfless affection towards your brothers and sisters in Christ. Doing so will reap a harvest of new humility and becoming more empathetic. When we exercise this, we are then intellectually being used by God. Because it’s not about us it’s about him.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him…… Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

~James 1:12,17

Becoming a Christian isn’t just about making you better. It’s about making you new. Many people struggle to overcome temptation because they don’t see the distinction between the two. When you become a new creation in Christ, you will start to see that anything that is possible for Christ will then become possible for you. Stop letting temptations define your character in Christ. We can know that God has a valuable reason for the temptations and trials we face. Satan seeks to harm us. He wants to take us down. He wants us to turn our back on God and sin. Satan and his little demons want to rip our faces off; the only reason they can’t do that is because God holds the leash. Why doesn’t God stop them completely? Why? Because stopping satan is not the pathway to strength or revelation. God’s intentions are always for believers to emerge from a trial or temptation, better than when they started, either in strength or in knowledge. He promises that every situation will have a way out, an escape that can be utilized through obedience. The way out may not be easy, and we may not always take it, but having a way out means that we will never be forced to sin. God will never force us to do anything, good or bad. This is where our free will comes in.

“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. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”

~ James 1:13-16

The key to overcoming trials and temptations is to understand that they’re all relative in some way shape or form. Don’t neglect the power and love of God. Satan will try to make you feel sorry for yourself in the thick of your trials and temptations. Sometimes God lets us go through these tough times in life to show us his true love. This is the only way that we can be strengthened in him to be able to fight against the temptations and battles ahead. Trails and Temptations to sin has been embraced throughout human history. No one has ever been excused from trials and temptations, or the consequences of surrendering to it. In the Bible, temptation is a persuasion to act out in disobedience to God’s will. It’s the evil root of the world, the flesh, and the devil. A trail or temptation is a situation that God sends or allows in our life. His intentions are to reveal our loyalty, motivations, character, and commitment to Him. It’s also to purify, strengthen, and mature us. If we successfully pass, the test also glorifies God. It’s an important part of the process of maturing spiritually. God takes us through the waters of the Jordan to cleanse us not to drown us. It is very important that we stay alert in all areas of vulnerability, the sins that we are especially vulnerable to.

“Be sober-minded; be vigilant, for your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

~1 Peter 5:8

Listen here, the devil knows exactly where to tempt you. Like a master fisherman, he will bait his hook according to the appetite of the fish. Don’t give him leeway or that upper hand. Satan will always attack us through our weak spots, not our strong ones. Learning to become sober-minded and realistic about our heart keeps us spiritually strong, it shows the devil that we are invincible, complete, and manifested in Christ. This threat to satan is very dangerous.

Amy Carmichael states:

“All the great temptations appear first in the region of the mind and can be fought and conquered there. We have been given the power to close the door of the mind. We can lose this power through disuse or increase it by use, by the daily discipline of the inner man in things which seem small and by reliance upon the word of the Spirit of truth. It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is as though He said, “Learn to live in your will, not in your feelings.”

So, remember that God loves us, is for us, and wants to help us overcome temptation. Victory over sin is and always will be possible. Whatever temptation that confronts us isn’t unique. We aren’t the only person ever to deal with it, and we can overcome it if we really want to. God will never allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist and will always provide the way of escape. But we must want it, look for it, and take it. When we do, He is glorified, and we are spiritually strengthened and conformed into the characteristics of our Heavenly Father.

 

Stay attentive, level-headed, and steadfast in your faith, and the devil won’t even see you coming.

God’s Faithful Servant,

Tinisha B.

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