Contemplating Temptation

Have you ever been tempted? This is where everyone says “of course”! You are breathing, right? There is no one who has ever lived that hasn’t been tempted to do or say something they know is wrong.

 

Recently I was reading the account of Jesus in the wilderness in Luke 4. I believe there were several things that the Lord wanted me to see. I wanted to share them with you.

Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and led into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. The devil tempted Him the whole time and I am sure in every way possible. I know we only look at the ones mentioned in the scripture. But, what else did the devil do to try and get Jesus to deny his Father? I am sure we all know how creative the devil, our enemy, can be. He is manipulative, finds our weak points, and is a liar.

When the days came to an end, the scripture says Jesus was hungry. Even for Him, it was exhausting.

Luke 4:3-4

If you are the Son of God command this stone to become bread. Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word of God.

Luke 4: 5-8

The devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (the devil could offer this because it was his domain) and says he can have charge over all if Jesus would worship him. Christ says to the devil “get behind me for it is written that you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.”

Luke 4:9-12

The devil takes him up to a pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem. He tells him to throw himself down from there because it is written that He will give His angles charge over you to keep you safe. Jesus response is “It has been said, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

Luke 4:13

When the devil had tried every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Hebrews 4:15

We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Christ is our example. After the forty days ended, the devil was still trying to think of ways to tempt Jesus. The enemy of our soul is relentless. Know that the devil is going to try his absolute best to get you to fall into sin.

Be confident, courageous, and bold in the Lord when confronting the enemy. Use the scripture, contact a brother or sister in Christ for spiritual support, and most of all, know that the Lord is with you! He has not abandoned you in your time of despair.

Psalms 52:22

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus is our example – we are charged to follow in His footsteps. He countered every temptation with the Truth of the Word of God.

Run from sin and lean into the power of God within us through the Holy Spirit. With every temptation, our Father provides a way of escape. Be encouraged today! If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord of your life, He is with you!
 
Author:
Elder, Faith Assembly

 

 


Read more...

The Challenge of Self-Control

Self-Control… those words roll of the tongue so easily, but are so much harder to live out.

I would like to look at this fruit of the Spirit through spiritual eyes, as opposed to the eyes of the world. Bible Gateway discusses self-control as being one of the basic Christian virtues, the mastery of self, and the exercise of restraint. Only through submitting our will to the work of the Holy Spirit can we expect to have self-control.

Self-control is a fruit that needs work on a daily basis. Just look at scripture and witness the choices people made in a moment of temptation. We can see some practiced self-control – and some did not. There are many places we can find the good, bad and ugly regarding self-control in the scriptures.
 
 
Here are just a few examples:
 

Genesis 3
Hello Adam and Eve. What if Eve would have practiced self-control, remembered God’s care and command, and simply said no? What if Adam would have stepped up as the leader God created him to be, said yes to self-control, said no to passivity, and no to temptation? Remember, Satan knew the right words to entice them to commit the first sin.

Genesis 39
Joseph is a slave in Egypt. At one point, the lady of the house tries to seduce Joseph, but he literally runs from her. Joseph made the right choice and used self-control. He resisted temptation, fled from certain death and as a result, fulfilled the destiny God had planned for him.

Proverbs 25:28
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left with no walls. No walls means no defense, no safety and in time, certain destruction. When we talk of right and wrong on a spiritual level, we are talking about sinning or not sinning. So, when we decide on right or wrong in the sight of the Lord, we are choosing good or evil. And let us not forget – God hates evil – that is what sent His Son to the cross.

Galatians 5:19-23
There are 15 works of the flesh and 9 fruits of the Spirit all noted here. This shows Christ-followers this: we have to work twice as hard on the fruits of the Spirit to overcome the flesh. Our enemy knows the works of the flesh we deal with on a daily basis! Don’t be surprised – he will do anything he can to get our eyes off of Jesus and on to ourselves, tempt us to give in to what satisfies the flesh in an attempt to lead us away from Christ. So, know your stumbling blocks, and when the evil one comes to tempt you, use that fruit of the spirit – self-control.

Here’s the good news: God is always at our side to help us when we call.

 
We must call out to Jesus for help… every day. He has told us that no temptation is new, but is common to all. He has promised He will always provide a way of escape. Our job is to lean on the power of the Holy Spirit, look for the way of escape, and use self-control to take the right path. Lean into Him today, and let Him help you grow in self-control in every way.
 
Author: Ken Drew

Read more...