Archive | Temptation RSS feed for this section

God’s ‘Safety Valves’

14 Oct

Passing by the primate area one day, a zoo attendant happened to notice a chimpanzee sitting on a rock with an open book in each hand. He looked first at one book and then the other.

Upon closer examination, the attendant identified the books:  the Bible and Darwin’s Origin of Species.

Curious, the attendant asked the chip, “What’s with the books?”

The chimp replied, “I’m trying to decide whether I’m my brother’s keeper or my keeper’s brother.” * LOL!

With some choices there’s not much difference ~ like choosing between vanilla and chocolate ice cream, a matter of taste. But other times, choices are as clearly different as those two books in the chimps hands. Some choices can change the direction of our lives.

Can you think back to a crucial decision that took you down a different path? Maybe it was a foolish choice. You didn’t anticipate the consequences. Looking back now, you wonder how you ever could have missed the signs, the clues that your choice was destructive or hurtful. It’s a choice you now regret.

Or maybe you made a wise choice that helped you grow, led to success or opened up more opportunities. You’re so glad you made that choice!

What was the difference? Was it just the choices before you? We have options to choose every day, all day long. The choices just are. Just like temptations. You might face one temptation and it’s like water off a duck’s back; face another kind of temptation and you fall head first! What makes the difference is our response. Temptations have no power unless we act on them.

1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us how to respond to temptation:“… God is faithful and he will not let you

A Safety Valve

be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape….” The same is true when faced with a wrong or foolish choice. We can always look for God’s “way of escape.” It is a safety valve that helps us when the pressure to sin or be unwise gets strong.

The way of escape may actually be proactive. All sin starts in the heart and mind, when we want something that is not good for us, something God has declared “off limits” or destructive.  We need to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and mind. We need to be careful what we allow into our thoughts through the media, especially, because they can become a constant source of temptation. God provides mercy when we repent of and forsake any “ways” that are contrary to His ways (Isaiah 55:6-7) ~ wrong desires in our hearts, wrong habits and behaviors.

The way of escape comes when we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit within us (Galatians 5:16-25). It is not by our might or power, but by God’s spirit that we accomplish anything (Zechariah 4:6). The Spirit makes us overcomers! (1 John 4:4)

The way of escape also comes as we renew our mind (Romans 12:1-2). What we feed our mind will eventually come out, but we can change the direction of our thinking and refresh “the spirit of our mind” in Christ (Galatians 6:8a; Ephesians 4:17-24) and the Word of God. We study, meditate on, and apply the principles of scripture that help us stand strong against temptations and make wise choices.

The way of escape comes in our commitment to glorify God in purity (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). While will power can only take us so far (which is why we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit), we can resolve to say “no” to temptations. We can purpose to make choices that lead to holiness.

The way of escape also comes through accountability. The Bible encourages us to exhort (encourage) one another and bear each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). We can ask Christian friends to help us fight temptation. We can seek God together for wisdom to make wise choices.

Are you facing some tough choices? Is temptation knocking at your door? God wants to give wisdom, and He offers safety valves ~ His way of escape in many forms. How will you respond?

* from CyberSaltDigest.com, 7-7-11

– Dawn

Advertisements

Avoiding the ‘Gotchas’

11 Mar

In 1957, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), produced a program on its prestigious Panorama Programme that informed people that a certain kind of pasta came from bushes.

In true reverential, BBC documentary tone, Richard Dimbleby explained how Spaghetti was harvested from bushes, dried, and then processed into strands of spaghetti.

The audience not only listened to the spoof ~ some even phoned in asking where they could buy a Spaghetti bush. (1)

I consider myself a fairly wise woman ~ at least, I strive to fear and obey the Lord and His Word (Proverbs 9:10); but on the other hand, I can be sooooo gullible.

Just ask my sons, who are always trying to pull one over on their mama. I’m more alert now and I question some things they tell me, because I’ve learned from experience that they may be feeding me some lines, just to be able to say, “Gotcha.”

The longer I travel through this life, the more I recognize when the enemy of my soul is trying to pull the same thing. Where once I could describe my life journey as “Gullible’s Travels,” now I see myself as a Wise Warrior Woman ~ more alert to the devil’s sneaky tactics as I walk hand-in-hand with God, wielding the Sword of the Spirit ~ the Word of God.

I just caught myself an hour ago, starting to believe the enemy:  “You aren’t as pretty as that other woman speaker. (Look at her white, straight teeth and her trim ankles ~ yes, the enemy says stupid things like that!) Don’t you see that that’s going to get in the way of your message when you speak? Maybe you should decline the offer to speak at that luncheon.”

I had to remind Satan of the truth (and I needed to hear myself proclaim it!) … that God is the source of my strength and any influence I hope to have; and I am going to be obedient to His call, regardless of my imperfect appearance.

One of the most powerful exercises we can do as women is to contrast truth and lies. Maybe, like me, you’ve heard something that you think might not be accurate. Ask, “What’s the truth here?” Try to find a scripture passage that shows the difference between truth and lies ~ there are lots of them in the book of Proverbs!

When you hear something in the culture that doesn’t ring true (maybe on TV, in a movie, or in a book), Continue reading

Privacy Issues

5 Feb

I’ve sighed many times at all the “privacy issues” that come up with social media, but Pam Farrel sent me something she saw on Facebook that made me LOL!

“New privacy issue with Facebook! As of tomorrow, Facebook will creep into your bathroom when you’re in the shower, smack your rear end, and then steal your clothes and towel. And it’s all gonna happen when you have soap in your eyes.

“To change this option, go to Privacy Settings > Personal Settings > Bathroom Settings > Smacking and Stealing Settings. Then, uncheck the Shenanigans box. Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and Paste on your status to alert others.”

That’s funny, but for many, real privacy issues are no laughing matter. With all the “hacking” and viruses trying to invade our privacy, many of us are searching for ways to guard against those who want to destroy our computer efficiency or, worse, steal our identities!

This made me think ~ how like Satan, the enemy of our soul. He wants to destroy our effectiveness for God, and he is the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44) constantly feeding us lies about our true identity.

Like a sneaky cyber worm, Satan “hacks” into our lives for weaknesses, foolish choices, and sinful behavior that he can throw up against us at the most inconvenient times.

  • He invades our thoughts and tries to shut down spiritual growth.
  • He relishes opportunities to make us feel guilty.
  • He rejoices when we feel unworthy to follow and serve Christ.

Temptation of Christ - Scheffer

We need to establish some strong “privacy settings” by changing the options Satan has in our lives.

Just as Jesus made the enemy flee by quoting appropriate scripture zingers (Matthew 4:1-22; Luke 4:1-13), we need to know and skillfully use the Word of God to guard against Satan’s tricky attacks. We need to be alert and guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) with biblical truth so the enemy cannot steal our joy in Christ and we can experience true freedom (John 8:32).

We reinforce those settings every day as we spend time reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the truth of the Bible. We also are wise step up our protection by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

If we have some “privacy issues,” it may be because we’ve failed to be faithful in saturating our hearts and minds with the heart and mind of Christ ~ loving the things He loves, and obtaining His wisdom.

So ~ quick check ~ are your “privacy settings” up to date?

%d bloggers like this: