Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lead Us NOT into Temptation

Did you know that Jesus countered temptation with Scripture?  
He did not have a conversation with the devil, He used God's own words to defeat him and the temptations he was trying to bring against Him.  This tells me that we can draw that same strength from God's Word!! Philipians 4:13 is one of my favorite verses, "13 I can do all things [a]through Him who strengthens me. (I CAN do ALL things THROUGH Him who strengthens me) emphasize I CAN DO ALL THROUGH HIM.  Not on my own power or my own strength but through Him.  The devil will try to use our flesh against us.  Have you ever thought about his temptation of Eve and his temptation of Jesus.  Keep in mind Jesus was NOT tempted but the devil tried to tempt Him.  He tempted Eve with the fruit.  Jesus had fasted for 40 days, he tried to tempt Him into creating bread to eat.  He appealed to the flesh.  Satan knows he can't tempt the spirit but he can tempt the flesh.  That's why the Bible says this in Romans 8:7 "because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,"
The mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, that is so true, Eve's concerns were for her flesh and the knowledge she thought she would receive so she turned her "mind" away from God. 
Jesus however had His mind set on the things of God.  He very easily could have turned a rock into bread, that wasn't the issue. The issue was He could not be tempted, why? Because His mind was set on God and God's plan for Him. 
Romans 8:13 says this, "13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you [a]must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM (Christ Jesus) who strengthens you.  
It doesn't matter if you want to lose weight, gain weight, get married, get a new job etc. etc. etc.  It doesn't matter how many "new year resolutions" you made.  You can do all things through Him who strengthens you IF you set your mind on God and His plan for your life everything and I do mean everything will fall in to place.  
I am going to make an admission now.  (I am using this example because it pertains to me personally).  It's not a secret that I am over weight.  Why am I overweight? Because I have not yet got my flesh under control.  Because I may not eat a lot but I eat when I don't really "need" to.  I eat more than I "need" to.  I eat what "I" want to, when "I" want to, not what God would have me eat for my health.  My mind is more on food at any given time than God's plan for my life!  (I do not say that proudly by the way, it's just some truth that God has given me.)  When I attended those weight loss meetings last year one of the things they said stuck in my head, that was, "eat to LIVE not live to EAT".  God provided everything good for us to sustain us.  I'm not saying He cares if we indulge in a chocolate Sundae or gooey brownies, but His Word says that gluttony is a sin. 
(Proverbs 23:20-21 warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”
Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”)

As I said above, I am using this example because it pertains to me personally.  Just like when I quit smoking, I did not do it on my own power but through God.  I kept repeating Philipians 4:13 in my head when the temptation would get strong because that was the only verse I could come up with on the spur of the moment BUT, it worked!  Here I am "by the grace of God" a year and a half later, smoke free!   That is the strength of God's Word!  Not my own, I warred with my flesh almost daily and at times still do, but truthfully this is the second time God has delivered me from that and I'm determined through Him to make it the last.  Now there are other areas of my life that I need to apply the same verse and principal.
The sad thing is, if we walked in the spirit as we are supposed to these temptations and problems would be less of a problem.  To have to fight a battle against the flesh means that the flesh is exerting control.  But that also means we are human, that's not an excuse, that's just plain truth.  We can use scripture as Jesus did to battle temptation but we don't have the strength in and of ourselves to battle it.  
Jesus WAS NOT tempted, he quoted scripture to let the devil know that he had no hold over Him.  He quoted scripture to put the devil in his place, not because he was weak or tempted.
(just want to emphasize that). (James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.)
But we can do that for our strength, we can search the scriptures, we can find the verses that apply to our daily lives and we can pull them out and use them against temptation.  Whether it is a friend trying to coerce us to do something wrong or our own mind or body leading us into temptation we have the mighty sword, the Word of God to counter every attack.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
God always provides a way out, He always gives you a chance to walk away, that moment is when you need to be able to call God's Word up and use it against the temptation and to strengthen yourself.
Begin with Philipians 4:13, look up more and memorize them.  Write certain ones down that give you strength.
Let's be like Jesus, not like Eve.
God bless you all.