Archive for the ‘Temptation’ Category

This painting, created by my friend Sharon Taylor, is an enlightening representation of the spiritual warfare that exists all around us. This is a graphic reminder that Satan is a very real enemy who purposefully seeks to destroy those committed to Christ. 1 Peter 5:8 says, Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Christians suffer daily for the sake of following Christ. Some are tortured physically, imprisoned, and even killed; others are tortured mentally and emotionally by addictions, broken homes, kidnappings. The methods of his attacks are never-ending. Satan and his army stand ready to attack, and we must always be on guard.

In the midst of the darkness, you can see innumerable rays of light. Each light represents those who follow Christ, those who draw near to God, and those who faithfully share the light of His love for all to see. John 1:5 says, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Satan will try his best to shake our faith and to dim the light of each Christian, but we have complete assurance that we serve a conquering King, and we are not alone in this battle!

Now, notice the bright beams of light penetrating the darkness and the mass of light above Satan and his army. Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Praise God there is light in the darkness! 1 Peter 5:10 says, The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. These times of suffering will not last forever.

The battle is real. God is our strongest defense against the devil’s attacks. We must always be alert and protect our “light” with the whole armor of God so that others may know God. Ephesians 6:10-18 says, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Read Full Post »

My two year old granddaughter loves to play in my makeup. She also knows she’s supposed to have permission. Yet there are times when that desire to have pretty lips is just more temptation than she can stand, and she will sneak out of my sight into my room to play with it. Her personal desire causes her to struggle against what she knows to be right.

We all struggle at times to obey God’s commands. In fact, it would be safe to say that it’s a daily struggle for all of us. No matter how determined we are, we will fail in some of these struggles because we are far from perfect, and we will be led astray. But we aren’t doomed to failure. Praise the Lord there is hope and help to be found through Him. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

1 Kings 12:20-13:34 tells of two people who struggled to do what God asked of them. Jeroboam received a promise of great blessings as well as a kingdom that would endure if he would just follow God’s direction (1 Kings 11:38). Even with this promise, he became an insecure king who struggled to maintain focus on God. In 1 Kings 11:27-28, fear and pride led to King Jeroboam creating idols to be worshipped by the people. He knew this was a sin, but he struggled to believe God’s promise of a lasting dynasty. He felt a need to control the people in order to maintain their allegiance to him and tossed aside God’s promise leading an entire nation into sin.

In chapter 13, a man of God is sent to King Jeroboam and instructed not to eat or drink while he was there. He obeyed this command when the king offered him food, but when later enticed with food by an old prophet, he struggled with personal desire. He must have surely been hungry after making that trip, and he eventually caved to the deceit of the old prophet.

The struggle is real. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Sometimes we have the best intentions of obedience, but find ourselves in a predicament of disobedience and consequences. We must stay in God’s sight by walking with Him daily because when we try to sneak off out of His sight like my granddaughter, our personal desires will grow stronger causing us to sin just as these men did.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Read Full Post »

A bowl of Strawberries. Français : Un bol de f...I spent most of last night curled up in a ball, asking myself, “Why?”  More specifically, “Why do I do the things I know I shouldn’t?”

So…I’m sure you’re wondering what I did.  Like Eve, I gave in to temptation and ate the forbidden fruit!  During the past week I have eaten strawberries, raisins, and peanuts.  Oh, and I also drank a few Sprites.  Sounds pretty innocent doesn’t it?  For most it would not be a problem, but I have a condition called interstitial cystitis which is aggravated by eating foods which contain citric acid.  I know I shouldn’t eat those foods, but I love them and sometimes I just can’t help myself.  The temptation becomes too much to resist.  Then I suffer the consequences for a few weeks because of my weakness.

As I lay awake, I wondered why I choose to subject myself to pain that I know will intrude on my sleep so severely if I eat those foods.  Then I realized the choices we make in life are similar to me eating foods I should avoid.  Romans 7:19 says, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t.  I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”  Let’s look at that carefully.  I want to do what is good but I don’t……..I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  I think most of us truly want to do the right thing.  Yet we find ourselves doing things we know we shouldn’t do just as I find myself eating foods that I know will have consequences.

So why?  Why do we do the things we know we shouldn’t?  Temptation…It began with Adam and Eve in the garden, and Satan continues to tempt us so that he may lead us astray.  2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Maybe like the tempting, juicy fruits I should avoid, the things we shouldn’t do just look so tempting that sometimes, we just can’t help ourselves and we do those things knowing we will suffer consequences later.  No matter how hard we try not to do what is wrong, Satan is dangling it in front of us, pouring chocolate on top, and insisting that just once won’t hurt anything.   We know sin may lead to consequences such as guilt, emotional or physical pain, financial difficulties, isolation from those we love, and ultimately alienation from God, but we find ourselves giving in to the temptation.  Let’s face it, none of us are perfect.  Eventually we will succumb to those temptations….for most of us a lot more often than we are willing to admit.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  There will surely be many sleepless nights as we suffer the consequences of our choices.  But the good news is God’s grace is like a soothing medicine which covers it all!

If you were blessed by this devotional, sign up in the column on the right to receive future posts by email or follow me on Facebook.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: