“Tools of the Trade” – TEMPTATION [17 out of 17]

Below are five tools we’ll want to have in our “spiritual tool bag” to help us navigate over, through, around, or to avoid life’s temptations.

1) OUR THOUGHTS:  What we think about is critical!!

  • Philippians 4:8Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
  • And in Romans 12:2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

2) PUT ON ALL OF GOD’S ARMOR:

  • Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s way of living. For shoes, put on the Gospel of Peace so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.Ephesian 6:10-18

armor_of_god_

3)  BALANCE :

–  If our minds are filled to the rim with the latest TV shows, music and all the rest the culture has to offer, we will be bombarded with messages and images that may lead to sin.

slide_brain_learning_remebering
– When we balance the good from our culture with what is taught in the Bible, we’ll enjoy life to the fullest, and we will be ready for any temptations that are thrown at us.

Stack of Stones --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.Colossians 3:2

4)  THE WORD OF GOD:
– This is our best defense against temptations.
Remember when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, His defense was to quote Scripture, Matthew 4:4-10, which caused the devil to leave Him.
God’s Word will make me wiser than my enemies, Psalm 119:97-98

5)  PRAYER:
–  Peter was told to – watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.Mark 14:38
–  In the “Lord’s Prayer” we pray, lead us not into temptationMatthew 6:13
–  If we find ourselves in a tempting situation and seek God’s guidance, He won’t allow us to be tempted more than we care bear, and He will provide us with a way out from the tempting situation. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Equipped with God’s Word, and His Spirit within us, know that you are much more powerful than any destructive ideas Satan tries to throw at you.

KNOW AND BELIEVE Paul’s powerful words in Romans 8:31, and Romans 8:38-39

If-God-is-For-Us

-nothing-can-separate-you-from-his-love

 

** THIS CONCLUDES MY SERIES ON TEMPTATION.  IF YOU’VE MISSED ANY OF THE PREVIOUS POSTS SEE THE LINKS BELOW :)**

What Gives You the Willies??  –  TEMPTATION  [1] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-vx

Stay ALERT!!  Have a PLAN!!  –  TEMPTATION [16] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-CC

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Stay ALERT!! Have a PLAN!! – TEMPTATION [16]

As we begin to wrap up the blog posts on temptation, we’ll address our last question —

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO RESIST THE DAILY ONSLAUGHT OF TEMPTATION?

As we begin to answer this question, keep in mind this verse from 1 Corinthians –

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.  –  1 Corinthians 10:13

escape plan

Also keep in mind that we can succeed in resisting temptation by following God’s principles and the teaching of Jesus.  Remember…

We can do all things through Him who strengthens us. – Philippines 4:13

mens_stainless_dumbbell_back__11875__98632.1436567216.1280.1280

In answer to our question, Is it possible for me to resist the daily onslaught of temptation?  the answer is YES! but it will require us to be ALERT!  Honing in on the warning signs alerting us to a tempting situation and God’s “escape plan” for us.

CautionBeAlert

OUR ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY RESIST TEMPTATION WILL REQUIRE:

<< Spiritual maintenance >>

Think of spiritual maintenance like housework.  Vacuuming, dusting, laundry, putting the laundry away, making beds, washing and putting the dishes away, etc. These are all necessary tasks if you want your house to be clean and orderly.  It’s not necessary, however, to do everything on your maintenance list everyday, like vacuuming, for example.  But washing the dishes, making your bed, are daily maintenance activities that ensure a neat, organized house.

housekeeping tools

The same is true with our spiritual maintenance.  Some activities we do once a week, like go to church. But others are necessary to do on a daily basis, like prayer and reading or listening to God’s Word.

These “maintenance” tasks ensure spiritual strength and cleansing necessary to see the light through the fog of our cultural and personal influences and temptations.

a close up of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse in the early morning with fog surrounding the lighthouse with its light shinning through the fog

Although we want to do what God teaches us, daily obstacles seem to pop up and get in our way.

Following a storm, a large tree trunk blocking access on a road in Western Australia.

Below are two essential steps, that if implemented, will assist us in navigating the pitfalls of temptation.

 

STEP 1:

RECOGNITION – the realization that we’re heading towards succumbing to the sin of temptation.

STEP 2:

“TOOLS” – having the knowledge and ability to use the “tools” in our “spiritual tool bag” in order to navigate safely around or through potentially tempting situations.

NEXT POST:   FIVE “TOOLS” YOU’LL  WANT TO HAVE IN YOUR “SPIRITUAL TOOL BAG”

 

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Tending the “Crops”  –  TEMPTATION [15] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-Cu

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Tending the “Crops” – TEMPTATION [15]

In the last post, Healthy Seeds!! —> Healthy Harvest!!  –  TEMPTATION [14], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-BQ, I mentioned that when we plant “seeds” of kindness, thoughtfulness, etc., in time they will produce a beautiful and abundant harvest.

But what happens if we plant “seeds” of unkindness, uncaring, selfishness, adultery, sex before marriage (fornication), abuse of alcohol, pornography, etc? We’ll get a harvest alright, and it may be abundant, but instead of beautiful, it can be ugly, hurtful, destructive, isolating, and painful.

…whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6

This just makes logical sense.  If I want to have a harvest of apples, I don’t plant pumpkin seeds.  If I want a harvest of apples, I plant apple seeds.

pumpkin seeds            red-cross-hi                  apple-tree-lg

apple seeds      red arrow right      apple-tree-lg

 

We learned in this post and the last that the only way a harvest (a result) comes about is from the “seeds” we plant.  But in between the planting and the harvest is the “tending”.

NOTEEveryone is tempted from time to time.  James reminds us in James 1:13 that when tempted…  That is not an if statement, but a “you can guarantee you’ll be tempted” statement.

In fact, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray in Luke 11:1-4, Jesus teaches them the following prayer, called the Lord’s Prayer.

Father, may your name be kept holy.
    May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.

Notice the last line of the Lord’s PrayerAnd don’t let us yield to temptation.

Jesus obviously knew people would struggle with temptation.  In fact so much so that He included it in what is probably the most recited prayer in churches worldwide.

So I have a choice at the ”tending” point. Am I going to fuel the fire, or throw cold water on it and cool it down. Keep in mind that what you feed grows and thrives, for the good or for the bad. Choosing to cut off temptation’s “food” source will “kill” the temptation before it reaches the harvest.

Her are some examples of temptation’s “food” —

  • Lusting after a person when married to someone else
  • Watching or reading pornographic material
  • Thinking only about yourself and what will make “me” happy
  • Gossiping, bullying, drinking in excess, etc.

When I make the choice to “kill” the temptation, I’ll be able to continue along a more healthful path were I can thrive.

The Gospel writer, Matthew, warns us with this principle, If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. – Matthew 5:29

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Healthy Seeds!! —>>  Healthy Harvest!!  –  TEMPTATION [14] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-BQ

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Just in Time For Mother’s Day!! – AN ORIGINAL SONG [3]

Mother’s Day is a special day when people take pause and remember their moms.

I am very grateful to have an AWESOME mom who’s always “got my back”.

I wrote this song from the perspective of a mom walking through life with her children.  A journey before conception through the college years and beyond.

My song is called Where Do Our Days Go?

All vocals, guitar, and bass were done by me, and the viola by my son.

We hope you enjoy it🙂

A special shout out to my children, for without them I could not be called the most beautiful word in the world  —  MOM!!  —  I LOVE you guys🙂

 

** IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR FROM MY READERS :)  SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LIKE OR COMMENT BELOW :)  **

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MORE ORIGINAL SONGS IF YOU’D LIKE TO TAKE A LISTEN🙂

What Do I Want? – AN ORIGINAL SONG [1] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-uH

Close To You – AN ORIGINAL SONG [2] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ve

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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

Healthy Seeds!! —> Healthy Harvest!! – TEMPTATION [14]

In previous posts I’ve sought to answer the following questions regarding temptation.

  • What is, and is not temptation?                  –  TEMPTATION [1,2]
  • Where does temptation come from?         –  TEMPTATION [3,4]
  • Does everyone experience temptation?    –  TEMPTATION [5,6]
  • What is driving our temptations?               –  TEMPTATION [7]
  • Were any people in the Bible tempted?     –  TEMPTATION [8,9,10]
  • Who or what tempts us?                              –  TEMPTATION [11,12]
  • What can I do in a tempting situation?      –  TEMPTATION [13]

The next question I’ll look to answer is

  • WHAT IS THE HARVEST (RESULTS) OF TEMPTATION?   –  TEMPTATION [14]

You may be thinking…   Why harvest?  That’s seems like an odd word choice.

Odd, maybe?, but harvest is a word that clearly describes the result of seeds that are planted, watered, and fed.

When I think of harvest, I think of Autumn, pumpkin pie and taffy apples. But, this also reminds me that pumpkins and apples didn’t just magically appear in fields or on trees. They came from  small, hidden, seeds that were nurtured, and grew until their “fruit” could be seen.

Here are a couple of examples to illustrate —

Pumpkin_seeds pumpkin seeds, and in 3-4 months ==> 

pumpkinpatch  ===>  pumpkinpie

 

apple seeds        apple seeds, and in 4-6 years ===> 

apple-tree-lg  ===>  taffyapple

The above, are examples of seeds that were planted and well cared for.  As you can see their harvest yielded a healthy, and by the looks of it, tasty result.  A beautiful and bountiful harvest.  And from that harvest came the main ingredient to bring joy into people’s lives.  In the case of these examples, pumpkin pie and taffy apples.

We can use “seeds” as an analogy in our life and others.  We can plant “seeds” everywhere we go.  As in the examples, seeds vary in the time they take to grow into mature fruit.  But once the fruit is fully grown and harvested, it can be used in a variety of ways.

WHAT “SEEDS” CAN I PLANT IN PEOPLE’S LIVES?

  • Saying kind words to others
  • Lending a listening ear to someone who may be down and out
  • Giving someone a much-needed hug
  • Any “random act of kindness” toward others

Just like our pumpkin and apple seeds, we may not see the harvest of our planting for quite some time, if ever.  But regardless, we are encouraged to continue to tend to/care for the people God has put in our lives, whether at home, school, work, etc.  Who knows, perhaps you were placed right where you are, right now, for just such a time as this?  (my paraphrase – Esther 4:14)

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. – 2 Corinthians 9:6

“THAT’S ALL REALLY INTERESTING, BUT WHAT DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TEMPTATION????”

In this post I talked about reaping a healthy/positive harvest.  A harvest that resulted directly from the healthy/positive “seeds” I’d sown, BUT…

REMEMBER:  THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY COIN.    —   Next post coming soon🙂

penny

 

** IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR FROM MY READERS :)  SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LIKE OR COMMENT BELOW :)  **

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

Cheesecake… To Eat or Not To Eat???  –  TEMPTATION [13]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-B7

Tending the “Crops”  –  TEMPTATION [15]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-Cu

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  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with the God??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

Cheesecake… To Eat or Not To Eat??? – TEMPTATION [13]

In this post we will be looking at one technique that can help us quiet our emotions, and help us evaluate circumstances/situations that may be harmful to us. I call it…

RESPONDING VS. REACTING

When there is an “object of temptation” right in front of us – it could be food, a movie, a person I like or dislike, a book/magazine, a website, a $10 bill laying on the ground –  I can choose RESPOND or REACT. When I choose to respond I activate my reasoning, allowing me to sort out the information I’m presented, and make an informed decision.  When I choose to react I activate my feelings, which are not capable of sorting out information, but only concerned about gratifying my present needs.

Here’s an example

If I’m caring for a sick child, friend, spouse, etc. I look at the person, I evaluate their condition, I ask them what their symptoms are, and then I thoughtfully proceed with a course of action. Perhaps I offer chicken soup with crackers, or an Ibuprofen and suggest laying down for a bit?

However, when I, myself, am sick, just forget it!!  I can’t think at all it seems.  I can’t figure out that chicken soup would be helpful, or that an Ibuprofen would reduce my discomfort.  Why not??  Because when I’m sick, first and foremost, I’m feeling, not thinking.  Feeling pain, feeling discomfort, feeling, feeling, feeling.  It is as though I’m in a mental fog.  I’m not evaluating or logically thinking through my condition.  —  Remember, feelings can’t sort out information.

Here’s another example

I see a slice of cheesecake on a plate.  I have two options —

I can REACT…

That slice of cheesecake sure looks good.  So creamy and fruity…
Cherry-Cheesecake

One teeny-weeny taste, that’s all I’ll have…easy-cherry-cheesecake-01

It’s sure going to be AWESOME when it hits my taste buds…

Young woman eating cheesecake with a fork

–OR–

I can RESPOND…

Thinking…  Asking myself — what are the possible consequences of this choice?  What are the ingredients in the cheesecake?  How much fat is in that slice of cheesecake?  Does indulging align with my personal health goals?

nutritionlabel

Is that 5 minutes, more or less depending on how quickly you eat, of pleasure, worth the hour it will require sweating on the treadmill to burn off the 244 calories/12 g of fat?

penguin-on-treadmill1

Now you might be saying.  I don’t care!!  I want the ______ !! (fill in the blank with your temptation).

And this is exacting the point I’m making — EMOTIONS SHUT DOWN OUR REASONING

Emotions/feelings REACT often times causing us to throw caution to the wind

throw caution to wind

Reasoning/intellect RESPONDS – allowing me the opportunity to think through my options and make a decision I’m less likely to regret later.

Although I’ve used fairly inconsequential examples in this post, they are intended to be representative of much more significant, maybe even life changing, “temptations” – Should I be flirting with someone if I’m married?  Should I drive after I’ve had a couple of beers?  Is _??  ok, just this one time?  I’m young, I just wanna have fun!  I won’t get caught!

THINK about this verse from 2 Peter, and notice the beneficial progression of RESPONDING…

When we apply our knowledge –> we develop self-control.
When we apply self-control –> we develop patience and perseverance.
When we apply patience and perseverance –> we develop a godly character.
When we apply a godly character –> we develop kindness to others.
When we apply kindness to others –> we develop love.
2 Peter 1:6-7

 

** IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR FROM MY READERS :)  SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LIKE OR COMMENT BELOW :)  **

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

Me?? – My Own Worst Enemy??  –  TEMPTATION [12]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-AR

Healthy Seeds!! —&gt;  Healthy Harvest!!  –  TEMPTATION [14]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-BQ

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  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with the God??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

 

Me?? – My Own Worst Enemy?? – TEMPTATION [12]

In my last post, Does God Tempt People??  –  TEMPTATION [11], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-Aa, I identified Satan as unlikely suspect #1 in answer to the question Who or What Tempts Me?

In this post, I’ll identify unlikely suspect #2.

Have you ever heard the saying, “She’s her own worst enemy.” or “He’s his own worst enemy.”  If you haven’t heard this idiom before, it means to create your own problems, and/or prevent your own success.
This brings us to unlikely suspect #2 – Me, Myself, and I.

Me-Myself-and-I-Phineas-Ferb

Not three people, but one complex, unique, yet sinful person – For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.Romans 3:23

people are tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. – James 1:14

For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come…  –  Mark 7:21

evilheartout

< You may remember the above picture from my post – Where Does My Desire to “Push the Envelope” Come From??  –  TEMPTATION [3],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ws >

SO HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION???

Is there any hope for me?  Can I resist temptation?

The-big-question

If you are a God-follower you are in a constant battle. Fighting in a war between doing what God wants vs. doing what your sinful nature wants.  Put yourself in the Apostle Paul’s shoes as he seeks to make sense of this battle that plagues him. – Romans 7:15-20

Romans 7-15-20

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other…  –  Galatians 5:17

Identifying our tempters, Satan and ourselves, is the first line of defense protecting us from being caught in the downward spiral of temptation.

downward spiral

And knowing temptation’s M.O. (mode of operation), will prepare us to recognize it, and put a stop to it before it wreaks havoc on our lives.

caught-in-a-tornado

 

In the next post we’ll take a look at a technique that can be immediately put into practice the next time you come face-to-face with temptation.

 

** IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR FROM MY READERS :)  SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW :)  **

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

Does God Tempt People??  –  TEMPTATION [11] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-Aa

Cheesecake… To Eat or Not To Eat???  –  TEMPTATION [13]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-B7

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  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with the God??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
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  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

Does God Tempt People?? – TEMPTATION [11]

When considering the question, Who or What Tempts Me?, it would seem that most of us could quickly list off a few offenders –

  • Situations around me
  • TV
  • What I read
  • Music I listen to
  • People – friends, family, etc.

However, you may be surprised when you hear the unlikely suspects the Bible gives in answer to this question.

Most importantly, we need to understand that God DOES NOT tempt usRemember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is NEVER tempted to do wrong, and He NEVER tempts anyone else. – James 1:13

HOWEVER, and this is where it gets a little sticky, God may allow us to be tempted.

This is when we run into our first unlikely suspect – SATAN.  Unlikely, because people don’t see Satan, therefore, they often don’t believe that he actually exists.  We can equate Satan’s existence to the wind.  We don’t actually see wind, but we certainly feel it’s effects.
Satan, in the same way, is actively at work, day in and day out, looking for ways to mess us up.

1.  Satan watches people

“Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” – Job 1:7

This video clip of a drone hovering unnoticed over the unsuspecting people in the City of Chicago is how I imagine Satan patrolling the earth.

2. Satan pursues people

Not only does Satan watch what’s going on, he is also persistence in his pursuit of turning people from God.

(Keep in mind that Satan pursues God-followers, not non-God-followers.  Why??  Jesus answers this question when he is challenged by the Pharisees after healing a demon possessed man in Matthew 12:22-30.  Jesus says in verse 30, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”  So Satan doesn’t bother with non-God-followers because they are already on his “team”.)

In the story of Job, we have a Biblical example of Satan’s persistence  –  see Job 1:1-11

Satan says to God, “You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” – Job 1:10-11

gods protection

And then we have God’s shocking response to Satan’s request, “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. – Job 1:12.  Then in the remaining chapters in the Book of Job we read how Satan stripped Job of his family and worldly comforts.

SAY WHAT????

Here’s the upside —

God does not give Satan free rein to do as he pleases. We see one example of this in the story of Job, “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses (his stuff), but don’t harm him physically.” – Job 1:12, nor in our lives. God puts restrictions on Satan.

3.  Satan offers craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions – 1 John 2:15-17

Unfortunately, Satan is not easily deterred.  In fact, he is so bold that he even tempts Jesus!! – Matthew 4:1-11.  In Matthew 4:3 Tempter is used as a synonym for Satan.

temptation-of-jesus

For more on this, see my post — What Is Driving Our Temptations??  –  TEMPTATION – [7], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-yx

In this post we’ve talked about unlikely tempting suspect #1 – Satan.  However, there is another unlikely suspect you may not have considered –  See post – My Own Worst Enemy??  –  TEMPTATION [12]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-AR

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

The Battle Is On…  –  TEMPTATION [10]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-A3

My Own Worst Enemy??  –  TEMPTATION [12]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-AR

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The Battle Is On… – TEMPTATION [10]

The battle for our minds, our thoughts and decisions, is constantly raging.  Should we give ourselves to the ways of the world, or the ways of God?  Realizing there is a battle going on is step one.  It’s also important to recognize that temptation is one of the weapons used in the battle.

In the last two posts I gave examples of opposing responses to temptation.

Joseph who resisted the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife, see post — Resisting the Desire to Fulfill Our Physical Pleasures???  –  TEMPTATION [8]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-zv, and King David who gave into his sexual temptation, see post — HEADLINES – Man Falls Head Over Heels…  –  TEMPTATION [9]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-zM.

Other examples from the Bible illustrating opposing responses to temptation are…

Example of temptation for everything we see…

Eve’s temptation by Satan, the serpent – Genesis 3  –  gave into temptation

RH-EveTemptation2

Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness – Matthew 4:1-11resisted temptation

j. denies satan

Example of temptation because of our achievements/possessions.

Ananias and Sapphira who claimed they gave all the profits from the sale of property, but actually withheld some – Acts 5:1-10 – gave into temptation

annais and sapphira

with widow’s offering at the temple, selflessly giving all the money she had – Mark 12:41-44 – resisted temptation

widows offering

These are just a couple of examples, from the Bible, of people who were and were not able to resist temptation.  I bet you can think of some opposing responses to temptation from your own life.  A time when either you, or someone you know, has been faced with temptation and has either been able to resist it, or gave into the temptation they faced.

It seems as though as soon as we wake up in the morning we are faced with having to make one decision after another.

 

decisions-460px1

Some decisions are easy to discern and respond to, while others seem to stir up a battle within our consciences.

Quick-Decision-Making

 

 

James, in the Book of James, gives some insight into those who experienced, or will experience temptation.  He says,

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. And remember, when (not if, my addition) you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. –  James 1:12-15

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are faced with temptation everyday and throughout our day.  Sometimes we succumb to temptation, and sometimes we resist temptation.

What is it then, as the old adage says that “separates the men from the boys”?  Why are some people able to resist temptation while others struggle?

See my next post, Does God Tempt People??  –  TEMPTATION [11]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-Aa to see who or what tempts us…

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

HEADLINES – Man Falls Head Over Heels…  –  TEMPTATION [9],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-zM

Does God Tempt People??  –  TEMPTATION [11]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-Aa

  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with the God??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
  • If you would like to receive notifications when new posts are published, click on the FOLLOW button in the sidebar.  Or if you are viewing from your mobile device, scroll down the page and you’ll see the FOLLOW blog via email button🙂
  • It you are viewing with the mobile version, scroll down to the bottom of this page for additional info and pics🙂
  • Take a look at the other tabs in the menu for encouragement and inspiration as you continue to BUILD A FOUNDATION!!
  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com

 

 

 

HEADLINES – Man Falls Head Over Heels… – TEMPTATION [9]

HEADLINES…  MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART, FALLS HEAD OVER HEELS IN TEMPTATION…

I’ve heard the saying, “falling head over heels in love”, but I’ve never heard of “falling head over heels in temptation”.  Yet, in 2 Samuel 11 we will see King David doing just that – falling head over heels in temptation.

2 Samuel 11, opens up with an interesting verse,  In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1

Interesting, umm?  King David chooses to stay behind and not fight?  What was he thinking?

Well, regardless of what he was thinking, it’s what he did while chill’in that got him into a whole heap of trouble.  The full story can be read in 2 Samuel 11.

I will summarize the chapter below, and point out how David’s temptation led him into sin.

Temptation #1 = Lust of the eyes

David looks over his balcony, and sees a beautiful woman bathing.

david_balcony

David inquired who the woman was.  He is told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

Temptation #2 = Pursues Bathsheba even though he knows she is married –

Then David sent messengers to get her.

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David succumbs to sexual temptation – David SINS –

She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she went back home.  The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

bathsheba preg

DAVID’S TEMPTATIONS DID NOT STOP HERE…

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Temptation #3 – David attempts to cover up his SIN – 

Next, David sends word to Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, and says, “why don’t you take a break from fighting, come home and spend time with your wife”.

Uriah leaves the battle, but does not go home.  Instead, he slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
Uriah was an upstanding man and warrior.  He chose not to leave his men to partake in some frivolous R&R (rest and relaxation).

Temptation #4 – David attempts to tempt Uriah, urging him with food and drink to go home and sleep with his wife.

Then David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.

Temptation #5 – The choice to put Uriah in the line of fire on the battlefield.

In a last-ditch effort to cover his tainted tracks, David told Joab, captain of the his army, to “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

David SINS – David murders Uriah.  Although David did not physically murder Uriah, he knew he would be killed having been put on the front lines of the battlefield.

There was no hope of survival for Uriah when put in the line of fire.  So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

9.  So David, the honorable man that he is, ya right:/brought Bathsheba to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.

davidand bathsheba baby

****BUT THE THING DAVID HAD DONE DISPLEASED THE LORD****   2 Samuel 11:27

In this post, we’ve looked at King David and his downward spiral from temptation to sin.

 spiralgif

David had many opportunities to say, NO!!  Yet, the pull to fulfill his temptation was stronger than his will to resist it.

You may be asking yourself…

If David, a man after God’s own heartActs 13:22, couldn’t resist temptation, then how can I?

The answer is somewhat easy, but it requires preparation.

  • It requires us to remind ourselves of what we’ve learned from the Bible.
  • It requires us to apply into our daily lives what we’ve learned from the Bible – James 1:22
  • It also requires us to realize that God promises us that He will not allow the temptation to be more than we can stand. When we are tempted, He will show us a way out. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

As we saw with David, he had a number of opportunities to say NO!, to put an end to his pursuit of Bathsheba.  However, David chose not to, leading to an unfortunate series of events.  This in contrast to Joseph, who was frequently tempted by Potiphar’s wife, yet resisted – Resisting the Desire to Fulfill Our Physical Pleasures???  –  TEMPTATION [8], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-zv.

Two similar stories seeking to fulfill physical pleasure.  Two very different endings.

 

** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

Resisting the Desire to Fulfill Our Physical Pleasures???  –  TEMPTATION [8],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-zv.

The Battle Is On…  –  TEMPTATION [10],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-A3

 

  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with the God??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
  • If you would like to receive notifications when new posts are published, click on the FOLLOW button in the sidebar.  Or if you are viewing from your mobile device, scroll down the page and you’ll see the FOLLOW blog via email button🙂
  • It you are viewing with the mobile version, scroll down to the bottom of this page for additional info and pics🙂
  • Take a look at the other tabs in the menu for encouragement and inspiration as you continue to BUILD A FOUNDATION!!
  • A great resource for Bible verses, Bible Topics, Commentaries, etc. – http://www.BibleGateway.com