Faithful Friday: Temptation

17 May 2013

Often times people believe that when you become a Christian your life becomes perfect, well if that were the case everyone would be saved. I am not saying that becoming a follower of Christ makes your life worst, but it does make living in this world a little harder because as you become a Christian you are now more aware of things that do not please God. As you try and change your life to live for him you will notice that part of you misses the life that it used to live before. You then become tempted to turn back to those old sinful ways. That yearning you have is called temptation.

For me my temptations were using bad language, gossiping, being proud, lying, and being hateful. I noticed that when I was at certain places or with certain people I was more inclined to do the above things, thus giving in to that temptation. When I became a practicing Christian I started to see how bad many of those things were and I tried hard to get away from them - but handing my life over to Christ didn't make me immune and it surely didn't stop me from slipping up and giving way to temptation. It did however make me more aware and I was convicted every time I fell into the trap. 

I used to think that being a Christian should make me not want to do those things....after all that is how Christianity works right? Well wrong! Who am I that I would be above temptation to sin?! Even Jesus was tempted by Satan when he was in the wilderness (Matthew 4). So if Jesus was tempted that means we will be tempted too, but we can overcome because he has given us the power to overcome through the Holy Spirit. It doesn't matter what your temptation looks like whether it's premarital sex, pornography, lying, stealing, addictions, foul language, gossiping or whatever - you can overcome. Some of the things that tempt us are normal - God created sex, food, and money. Sex is for when you are married, food is not okay when you are over consuming it and money is good when you are earning it not stealing it. So as you see these are normal desires but God wants us to satisfy them at the right time and until that time comes he wants us to exercise self control.

The key to overcoming temptation is:
  1. Trusting in the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Understanding that temptation focuses on your physical needs, desires, possession, power and your pride. 
  3. Understanding that the devil often tempts you when you are most vulnerable - tired, lonely, or dealing with uncertainty. 
  4. Recognizing the things the devil uses to tempt you.
  5. Praying about the things that are tempting you.
  6. Knowing God's word.
  7. Applying God's word to your life.

I noticed there was a time early on in our marriage where we would always get into fights about finances. I would always give way to my urge to have an impromptu shopping spree that my husband clearly disagreed with - but I would argue with him as if I was justified for breaking our spending agreement. For many month's dare I say even a year the devil used finances as a way to cause discord in our marriage. One day my stupid light bulb finally came on and I figured out exactly what he was doing. I declared that I would no longer give in to the temptation to buy against my husband's wishes, which caused me to be prideful, and then caused us to argue. Looking back I can see that I typically gave in to my urge to shop when I was unhappy, I hated my job so I would always go shopping after having a bad day at work. That is where the devil had a foothold and used my emotions to cloud my judgement so I fell into his temptations. Since that very moment I have been faced with the temptation more times than I can count but I have been passing test in that area and not giving in. It's definitely not easy, but when you are alert and aware of those feelings it is a lot easier to overcome them.

Is there anything in particular you are battling with? Ask God for help with it rather big or small - you can overcome your temptation just like Jesus overcame the grave.

My church in Florida did a wonderful series on Temptation if you are interested click HERE and look for the series titled TEMPTED.

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
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1 comment:

  1. I needed to read this. I struggle with the same things that you do...primarily pride and gossip. In addition to that, I also am easily offended and I worry what others think of me too much. (I also struggle with body image which I know is Satan's #1 tool against me). I try to break free from these things so often. One thing that keeps me from progressing is not knowing how to "change" my behaviors in front of those who already know me. When people you normally gossip with start would you/do you handle not participating? Do you just silently not participate? Do you mention your change of heart?


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