Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Temptation Comes... Run away From It...


Trials are never easy things to go through. So why does God allow us to go through them? I think it's because He wants us to discover that God will meet us in the midst of our temptation. In the beginning, when Eve was tempted in the garden, her sin wasn't just in her eating of the apple, it was in not turning to God. When she ate the apple and then offered some of it to Adam, they realized that they had sinned against the Lord and felt shame and guilt. Then the blame game started.  Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed Eve.  Then when God asked Adam about the sin he blamed God for giving him Eve in the first place. I have to ask myself how different things might have been if Adam and Eve had fallen on their knees before God and admitted their sin and asked Him for forgiveness.  They never did that.

Temptation causes us to lose our perspective on things. When we see something that we really want, it is all we can think about.  We become obsessed with it.  This obsession is lust and lust leads to sin and sin leads to death.  I mean think about it, Adam and Eve had everything that they needed in the Garden of Eden. They had a relationship with God, food, shelter, and a purpose in life.  They believed that by eating that fruit it would make them happy.  Satan used their lust as bait to lure them away from the Lord. 

Every single sin is an inside job.  It starts in the mind of the believer.  Does God give that temptation to us?  No, He doesn't.  Where, then, do these temptations come from?  First of all, they do not come from God, although He does allow them. James 1:13 says, “For God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” In the first chapter of Job, we see that God allowed Satan to tempt Job, but with restrictions. Satan is roaming around on the earth like a lion, seeking people to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Verse 9 tells us to resist him, knowing that other Christians are also experiencing his attacks. By these passages we can know that temptations come from Satan. We see in James 1:14 that temptation originates in us as well. We are tempted when we are “carried away and enticed by our own lust” (verse 14). We allow ourselves to think certain thoughts, allow ourselves to go places we should not go, and make decisions based on our lusts that lead us into the temptation.  love is selfless and Lust is selfish.  It was sin that put our Lord Jesus on that cross, but it was love that kept Him there.

We need to decide what is leading us into temptation. What is luring us away from the Lord?  Our pastor taught us last weekend that there are cycles of temptation.  It starts with the attraction, the next step is the deception, ooh it looks so good.... I think having that could make me happy.  Then comes the preoccupation with it.  You can't get it out of your mind....  I just have to have this!!!! The next step is the sin is conceived. Then we become consumed by it.  If I took those drugs I would feel so much better, If I had that dress I could get that promotion,  That car could make all the difference in the world and if I had a woman like that all the guys would want to be me!!! The last step is desperation.  It is when we have made all of these bad choices that Satan comes and lies to us.  When we sow a thought we reap an action.  When we sow an action we reap a habit.  When we sow a habit we reap a character and when we sow a character we reap a destiny.

So what should we do when we are tempted?  We should ask the Lord to help us with it  and then we should RUN away from it like Joseph did.   Beauty either in men or women, often proves to be a trap both to us and to others. It allows us to feel pride, and requires constant watchfulness against the temptation that comes with it. We need to make a covenant with our eyes, so that the eyes do not infect our hearts. When lust has got the power, decency, reputation, and conscience, are all sacrificed. Potiphar's wife showed that her heart was fully set to do evil. Satan, when he found he could not overcome Joseph with the troubles, he assaulted him with pleasures.  But Joseph, by the grace of God, was enabled to resist and overcome this temptation. This sin was one which could have easily taken him over. The tempter was the captain of the guards wife, and she was a very beautiful and powerful woman. If Joseph gave in to the lust of his flesh she could have helped him. The time and place favored the temptation. The almighty grace of God enabled Joseph to overcome this assault of the enemy.  He thought about what he owed both to God and his master Potiphar. We are bound in honor, as well as justice and gratitude, not to wrong those who place trust in us, no matter how secretly it may be done. He would not offend his God, or himself.  He thought about who Satan was tempting. Joseph loved the Lord God, and in being a good Jew had a covenant with Him.  He thought about the sin he was being tempted with.  Others might look upon it as a small matter; but Joseph did not think it was small. He loved God and therefore he hated sin.  The grace of God enabled Joseph to overcome the temptation, by avoiding the tempter. He ran away from it as if he were running for his life. If we mean not to do iniquity, let us flee as a bird from the snare, and as a roe from the hunter. (Genesis 39:13-18)

So what will be our destiny?  Shall we take our temptations to the Lord and ask Him to helps us through these temptations so that we may grow as men and women of God? Shall we run away from our temptations?   I say yes!!!  Receive His Word of truth and live it out!!!   God's Word is our refuge and our cover (Psalm 91).  We should apply His Word to our life and live it.  Set his heart to study the Word and then do it (Ezra 7:10). Lastly we are to share the Love of Jesus Christ with a dying world.  To stand up for the innocents who have no voice, to feed the poor, take care of the widows and orphans and to be the light of Jesus Christ in this dark and fallen world.  To be in the world yet not of the world even until His coming.

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