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Seven Things to Do When Temptation Comes

23 Sep

My pup Roscoe is a sneak and a thief. No matter the temptation, it proves to be too strong. We’re working on some discipline to HELP him make wiser choices, but in the meantime, he’s a real scamp.

I’ve had to take the toilet paper off the roller recently and place the paper up on the bathroom cabinet… or simply shut the door. The fluffy roll of TP is just too tempting. He grabs the end of the roll and races through the house and out the doggy door into the back yard.

One day, he grabbed a fresh roll and I found it all over the cement sidewalk on our side yard ~ including the cardboard roll. He had a totally self-satisfied look on his face.

But it’s not just toilet paper.

If I don’t place a washcloth on the towel bar when I’m done at the sink or in the tub, Roscoe snatches the washcloth and runs for the bed. He rolls over and over, “enjoying” his soggy prize until our bed is soaked!

BAD dog! Such a sneaky little thief.

He’s not getting away with anything, of course.  His master, “Mama,” always knows. He can’t hide the evidence for long.

I’m a little like Roscoe sometimes. I know good and well that my Master sees and knows what I do. Everything is open to His eyes.

The Bible says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). It’s not just what He sees, but what He knows about us. He knows our heart (Acts 1:24). He knows our secrets (Psalm 44:21).

Because God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-8; Proverbs 15:3), He knows when we fall into temptation and sin (Jeremiah 16:17). He can see even in the darkness (Psalm 139:11-12).

No, we’re not getting away with anything!

Yet, though God sees us, He is compassionate. He can search our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24), and He will call us to repent ~ to turn back to righteous living and godly choices (Acts 3:19) . He knows that we will eventually reap harm or destruction if we continue in sin (Galatians 6:7).

And when temptation comes, we can do those things that lead to victory.

1. “See” Your Temptations for What They Are!

Identify whether they are physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual (or a combination of these). Is it something that will contribute to poor health, financial ruin, or guilt? What is your motive? Is it a matter of compromise? Indulgence? Are you toying around with a relationship or a habit that could easily bring you down? Is it lust of the eyes, desires of lust, or something born in pride? (1 John 2:16) Is it something you keep rationalizing or excusing … but you sense or know it is wrong?

2. Stand on What God Says

Is there a clear scripture that reveals God’s will about your temptation? Have you studied the scriptures to determine what God has to say? Is the Spirit of God tugging at your heart whenever you give in? It might not be something that is overtly wrong or sinful, but perhaps God is saying it is wrong for you at this time (or all the time). Find and stand on the truth of the Word of God.

3. Sort Out Your Triggers

Is there a certain place or event that triggers your temptation? Are you bored? (Boredom has sometimes been called the devil’s workshop.) Are you indecisive about what God has called you to do… unmotivated and perhaps lazy? Are you not dealing with stress, frustration or depression ~ and so, in a weakened state? Dig down into your heart… what are your specific triggers?

4. Strategize ~ Make No Provision for Sinful Desires

Accept the fact that you’re going to face temptation, and work to manage your life so you can deal with them. You can overcome temptations before they grab your heart. Instead of enabling temptation, guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and allow Christ to transform your mind (Romans 12:1-2). Avoid circumstances or people that lead you into temptation, if at all possible. Choose your friends carefully (1 Corinthians 15:33). Don’t buy things you know you shouldn’t have. You might have to take some drastic actions (getting rid of a TV, computer, or other items, perhaps), but do what is necessary to live a clean life. Be sure to “… make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires …” (Romans 13:14).

5. Surrender to God Rather than Your Temptation

Read Romans 6. Practice yielding the members of your body to the Lord as a servant of righteous living. Seek and set your mind on the things of God, and learn how to live “in Christ” (Colossians 3:1-17).

6. Substitute Sinful Desires with Godly Ones

Replace wrong thinking (Romans 12:1-2), but also, substitute some new activities (or even healthy distractions) with old unhealthy or sinful habits. Take up a new hobby, get some exercise, join a class … and do it with your whole heart with the desire to please and honor God (Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

7. Seek Help (Counsel, an Accountability Partner)

If you struggle, get some practical “skin on” help (Proverbs 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Seek out a minister, counselor, Christian teacher or support group that deals with your area of temptation. Be honest with a godly, mature-in-the-faith person about your struggle; and set up some accountability guidelines. Meet or talk on a regular basis.

So remember my sneaky Roscoe ~ always giving in to temptation ~ and recognize that you’re not getting away with anything. There’s going to be a pay day of some kind for unhealthy or sinful behavior, even if it is simply lost opportunities or the burden of a guilty conscience.

– Dawn

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Take Off Your Mask!

31 Oct

Scuba Dog

Halloween Humor:

Question: Count Dracula decided he needed a dog. Which breed did he choose?

Answer: A Bloodhound

At first, I thought this pup (left) was a Halloween costume, but it’s not. It turns out that little Mondex, a five-year-old Chihuahua, participated in the “fashion show” category of a dog show in suburban Manila, Philippines ~ and he won first place!

Whether you agree with dressing animals up in clothes or not, there really are some adorable pet costumes for Halloween out there! [I’m sharing a few here.]Dog-rabbit_Halloween

But no matter how we dress them up, they are still dogs and cats.

I was thinking about this … No matter how we humans try to hide behind masks, we know who we are in the secret part of our hearts, don’t we? We can’t hide from ourselves.

CheerleaderDog_Halloween

I’ve focused for the better part of my life on the fact that I can’t hide from God. People have been hiding from God since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:9-10). In a revival ministry, I learned that people may only see the outward appearance, but God tests my heart and knows even my secret sins (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 90:8; Proverbs 17:3b; Jeremiah 17:9-10).

That can be a scary thing. And for a long time, that’s how I reacted to God’s presence. Fear.

But knowing God sees me has become a comforting truth. Remember what Hagar said in Genesis 16:13-14 at the well where God saw her struggle? He provided for her, and she said, “You are the God Who sees me.” The Bible says the well was then called Beer Lahai Roi (Well of the Living One Who sees me). We can never escape His presence (Jeremiah 23:23-24; Psalm 139:7), and that’s a GOOD thing!

Aren’t you glad for God’s presence ~ that He will ALWAYS see you?

Our loving Father God sees through all our masks ~ the silly things Continue reading

Listen to the Lips of Your Heart

25 Jun

Quick Eye Exam:

How many “Fs” are in the following sentence? (Answer is further down.)

FINISHED FILES ARE THE
RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC
STUDY COMBINED WITH THE
EXPERIENCE OF YEAR

How many “Fs” did you count?

Did you hear about the young woman who went to see an eye doctor. The receptionist asked her why she was there, and she complained, “I keep seeing spots in front of my eyes.”

The receptionist asked, “Have you seen a doctor?”

The woman thing replied, “No, just spots.”

Eye Exam results:

If you counted three, you are normal. If you counted six, you are a genius…. or you’ve done this before. Apparently, the brain cannot process the word “OF” … amazing, isn’t it?

What are you focusing on?

Speaking of eyes, I (Dawn) was driving down the road with my granddaughter Megan a few weeks ago, and she kept smacking me on the arm (ouch!) every time she saw a Volkswagen “Bug” ~ a game she and her sister Jenna play with their dad. I said, “How about we use convertibles (of any make) instead” ~ thinking that we’d see fewer of them.  But wouldn’t you know it, she then saw a slew of “Caddies!” (Smack. Ouch!)

I suddenly had the thought ~ “We’re seeing them only because that’s our focus!” And you know, Where Are You Focusing?that’s true. Whatever we focus on takes center-stage in our thoughts.

What do you notice consistently? I’m tend to see everything turquoise, of late, since a fashion consultant told me, “That’s your best color.”

I also notice every red convertible, every display of good chocolate, every Jack Russell Terrier, every freckle-faced or blonde child, every sign that says “Bob,” every bookstore, and every church. I notice these things, because I love them or they remind me of things or people I love. These are the things in my heart.  And all these things show up in my conversations, too. (Just ask me!) So “focus” isn’t just about the eyes.

I had to laugh the other day when a scripture verse gave me a weird “picture” in my thinking.  The verse was, “What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45b, NLT). I envisioned a heart with huge lips on one side, and Continue reading

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