Temptation, simply put, is a desire birthed in your flesh that is in direct conflict with God’s standards and can take you off course from the plan of God for your life.
We live in a fallen world and so none of us is temptation-proof. But the problem starts when we start yielding to it. And it starts little by little (like yeast, which too seems to be a small thing, but it works its way through a whole batch of dough pretty fast), and then destroys your life (James 1:14-15).
PS: The world finds everything ok under the pretext of freedom of expression. But your standards of norm are not defined by the world but by the Word. The world is slave to sin, but believers are at war with it. As long as you weigh things as per the world’s norm, you will fall into the trap of accepting it. And what you accept, you won’t fight. You are called to be different! You have the royal blood. You are a holy nation!
In the part 1 of this post we want to give you 3 keys to break free from the temptation trap. (Don’t miss reading the concluding part next week for the next 3 keys) :
1. Know your identity in Christ
Many Christians are struggling with temptation because they have not renewed their minds. Know that once you are born again, there is a new you in the inside of you (2 Corinthians 5:17). Know that the spirit in the inside of you has authority over every force of darkness (Colossians 2:9-10). Know that you have the power to take into captive every thought that is contrary to what God says (2 Corinthians 10:5). Know that you are loved and accepted in Christ (Galatians 3:26). Once you know the truth, the truth will set you free!
2. Fill yourself with the Word
The source of temptation does not lie with God or in others, or our surroundings, movies, modern girls dressing, current wicked generation, but rather all our temptations come from our own inward desires and lusts of our flesh.
Sin always begins in the mind. No one ever falls into adultery without first entertaining it in his (or her) thought life. That’ why it is so important to fill our hearts and minds with the Word. For when you walk, His Word will guide you, when you sleep, it will watch over you and when you are awake, it will speak to you (Proverbs 6:20-22).
3. Flee from it
Joseph in the book of Genesis showed us the best way to avoid the temptation trap – Flee! You need to know what tempts you, when it tempts you, where it tempts you, who tempts you, and then just stay away from those situations and people. Don’t just walk away, but run! You don’t fight it; you flee it!
Remember sin easily entangles and so it is easier to avoid than to resist. Paul counselled Timothy saying – Flee from the evil desires of your youth (1 Timothy 6:11-12). Sadly people want to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.
Another thing worth mentioning is 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, when tempted, God provides a way out so that you can stand up under it. So if you are still falling for temptations, you are simply rejecting God’s way out from it.
-To be continued
From the Father, To You…
My love for you existed even before it could get conceived in your heart (1 John 4:19)
My love for you is a fruit of my will and pleasure. (Ephesians 1: 5)
My love for you made me give you all that I ever had (John 3:16)
My love for you overflows. My love calls you as my very own (1 John 3:1)
My love laid upon ‘Himself’ all that you deserved (John 15:13, 1 John 3:16-18)
My love gives you a root to grow. My love establishes you. My love surpasses all knowledge (Ephesians 3:17-19)
My love for you does not depend on what state you are in, I love you anyways! (Romans 5:8)
My love gives you authority because my love makes you blameless (Ephesians 1: 4).
My love walks before you and prepares a beautiful destiny for you (1 Corinthians 2:9)
My love for you is unfailing. My love for you sets the standard for patience, kindness, forgiveness, humility and every virtue that you can think of (1 Corinthians 13:4-12)
My love takes away your guilt and fears. My love sets you free (1 John 4:18-19)
My love for you is great, sometimes it is even called as grace! (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Nothing – nothing at all can separate you from My love (Romans 8:35-39)
You were born of Me. I am love…(1 John 4:18)
When you are in love, it’s beautiful!
Love fills your heart with unspeakable joy and stretches you beyond yourself. It makes you selfless and shameless, compelling you to do things which you wouldn’t have even dreamed of doing. There are no rules in love; in fact they are meant to be broken in love.
Now, do you really love Jesus?
Something about three lovers in the Bible struck me as I was reading about them. Elkanah, Solomon and Jacob mentioned in the Old Testament were in love and here’s what love made them do:
1. Elkanah: LOVE GIVES THE GREATER PART
In the book of Samuel we read about a man called Elkanah who loved his first wife Hannah more than his second wife Peninnah because Peninnah had children and Hannah had none. As was the custom, every year he would visit the temple of the Lord to worship. He would give portions of meat for sacrifice to Peninnah and her children, but 1 Samuel 1:5 says Elkanah gave a double portion to Hannah because he loved her.
When you are in love, you want to give the greater and the best part of your life to the one you love. This includes the best of your time, the best of your thoughts, the best of your dreams, the best of your desires and the best of everything.
Do you really love Jesus? Are you giving Him more than what you are giving to others?
2. Solomon: LOVE HOLDS FAST
Solomon, the wisest man on the planet married 700 pagan women of royal birth and had 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). This was in complete disobedience to God as He had commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with foreign women because they would surely turn their hearts after their Gods. (1 Kings11:2). But the Bible says Solomon held fast to them in love (1 Kings 11:2).
Solomon was blatantly wrong here, but the point that I want to draw your attention to is this: In love you hold fast or cling to the object of your love. You refuse to let go of it regardless of what anyone has to say.
What are you holding fast to? Do you really love Jesus?
3. Jacob: LOVE MAKES YOUR COMMITMENT A CAKEWALK
The book of Genesis speaks about a man called Jacob who was in love with Rachel. Jacob agrees to the condition laid down by Rachel’s father Laban to work for him for seven years in return for her!
Now seven years is a very long period. Imagine putting yourself in Jacob’s shoes. Am sure we would have revolted or would have asked Laban to rethink on the duration. But because Jacob was so much in love with Rachel, he didn’t bat an eyelid to agree to the condition. And I love what the Bible says in Genesis 29: 20: Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Seven years seemed only a few days to Jacob!!
When you are in love, what you do out of it is no longer a burden or commitment, but it becomes a pleasure. You don’t have to be forced or pushed to do something, for love makes you do it anyways. Does reading the Word of God comes to us naturally or we have to struggle to make time? Do we have to be pushed to maintain our prayer time by others?
Do you really love Jesus?
Further on, this is what two lovers do:
• They try and spend the maximum time with each other
• They don’t get tired of speaking about each other
• They keep adoring each other
• They share their deepest secrets with each other
• Their heart misses a beat when they are in company of each other
Now can I ask the question again? Do you really love Jesus?
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