Friday, August 4, 2017

Temptation 101

Luke 4:1-2
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them was hungry.

Jesus tempted? Is it a bad thing when we fall under the cloud of temptation? What about when we have a craving to return to old ways? When thoughts of using invade our minds...Have we sinned because temptation came a knocking on our door? Well, the answer is no. We cannot stop temptation from entering our mind...but we do not have to give it a place where it can grow, eventually leading us into the act of sinning. Always keep the following in mind.
#1- Testing comes from God. Testing involves God helping us to
see weakness we may have in our hearts and character. These
are the places that the devil comes against us to gain
a foothold in our lives.
#2 - Temptation always comes from the devil. He attacks the weak places...
attitudes and beliefs that we have not turned over to God.
The attack usually is in an effort to draw us away from God, and His
plans for our life.

God will never tempt you....
But He will use any temptation by our enemy, the devil, to help us combat and overcome the dark influence to sin.

Luke 4:3
The devil said to Him (Jesus)..."If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
Sometimes in reading this account, we focus on the devil's invitation to Jesus to turn stones to bread. Jesus has been there in the desert for forty days and nights, and Has not eaten anything. So, as the ultimate observer of human nature, it would only stand to reason that the devil would open the temptation to do whatever it took to obtain some food. But there is something far more subtle than Jesus taking stones and making Wonder Bread. The devil goes right to the heart of who Jesus is. He challenges the position Jesus holds as the Son of God. "If you are the Son of God".....If you are who you claimed to be, then prove it....

So what does this have to do with us? The devil comes at us in the same manner. Think about it....
You've begun this journey into recovery...into a new way of living....
You looked at and agreed that there is a HIGHER POWER greater than yourself who could restore you to sanity, and you made the decision to turn will and life over to the care of God. So the question of "WHO" and "WHOSE" you are has been settled. But when the devil comes a knocking on our door with a craving to use....or a situation that we suddenly find ourselves facing that stirs up old memories and thoughts....We need to remember our position. We do so by speaking truth (out loud, if you will), in spite of what our feelings are telling us.

That sneaky old devil will cause you to question this relationship you have with God. He will do so by leading you to the thought of "Real Christians don't have thoughts of must not really be in a relationship with this God you claim to believe in."

The funny part (Not ha-ha funny..but strange-funny) is that the devil goes right after us in his attacks. He  calls into question the work that Jesus has done in our lives (us being saved). Notice that he never ever challenges God...he challenges us. He wants to plant the smallest seed of doubt in our minds so that we will hesitate just for a moment instead of turning and running to God. Remember that Eve messed up after the devil asked her a question that contained only four words...."Did God really say?"

V.3 - The devil said to Him (Jesus), "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
Here again is part of a subtle attack to turn us from truth that will protect us. The devil not only questioned Jesus' position as the Son of God, he told Him to take matters into His own hands, rather than seek God, the Father. Isn't that what happens to us whenever we come under that dark cloud that whispers to us...."Hey! Life is hard....why not go use just this one will know." We forget that first step in the Twelve steps..."We admitted that we were powerless." I can never drift from that truth....If I am powerless, then why is it I give in and take matters into my own hands, creating even more destruction. I give everything I've worked for to pursue a feeling. It isn't even a good feeling, or one that will last. I allow myself to crawl back to that well that I've drank from for a long time. The well of empty promises...."Go ahead and know you want will be so good..." Lies, all lies.

The devil came after Jesus with temptations to sin against God. Doing so would have disqualified Him from being the ultimate Sacrifice for the sins of others. We need to learn this lesson well....
Every temptation that we face by our enemy, the devil, is to cause us to disobey God. Satan's design if for us to give in and disobey rather than to resist and offer ourselves , our bodies, as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). The devil desires that we indulge our flesh (sin nature) rather than crucify it.

I Peter 5:8-9
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers (and sisters) throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

Revelation 12:11
And they overcame him (devil) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

Ponder these things today...
God on you...

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