Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fighting Temptation

"Blessed (happy, to be envied), is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one.  But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed, and baited by his own evil desire (lusts, passions)."  James 1:12-14 Amp

What is tempting you today?  Is it that piece of cake?  Telling someone about someone else (gossiping)?  Taking control of someone else's life?  Taking credit for what is not yours?

Is it just to give up?  Yes, even that is a temptation.  It's when you feel so down that it is hard to look beyond yourself and the pain you are feeling.  You are even led to believe by something deep within you that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself, and that you deserve the pity party.

You know, that same voice that tells us it's okay to dwell in misery for a while is the same one that has crippled us in our fervent walk with God!  The devil takes great joy in seeing us suffer.  It's so much fun to take away our desire to focus on God and all the things He has promised us.  While we wallow in self pity we are only focusing on ourself.  And as long as we keep our eyes on ourself, we will be like Peter and sink into the raging sea, very close to drowning.  You've heard the expression, drowning in self-pity.

If we sink into this sea of temptation we will find ourselves totally disconnected from our source of life - Jesus Himself.  If we're smart, we'll do what Peter did and cry out to Jesus, "Lord, save me!  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him..." Matt 14:30-31.

When temptation comes (as it does every day), if we ignore it, and rebuke the source, it will go away!  If we are patient, and keep focused on Jesus, if we endure and pass the test, wewill receive 'the victor's crown of life" which God has promised those who love Him.

Can you imagine standing before God and He places a beautiful golden crown on your head?  How absolutely fantastic is that!?  Take heart, we have all been there.  We will probably all return to that place of temptation sometime today, but if we rebuke the tempter and instead say, "I love You, Jesus" with a smile on our face, maybe we'll last just a little longer each time until the day we conquer that beast.

God bless you today. May He give you the strength you need to endure. Look up, at the Light, not down. There is nothing down there for you!


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