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Monday, December 7, 2015

Dealing With Temptation

Coveting / Lust / Sin - its beginnings and where it leads:

People are enticed by their own lusts (James 1:14-15).
Dwelling on our own sinful desires can lead to sin.

Smooth speech (Proverbs 6:24; Proverbs 5:3; ) and visual attractiveness (Proverbs 6:25; Matthew 5:28; Genesis 3:6) are lures and snares.   The end of them is getting burned.  It leads to ruin and disgrace.  It's like fool's gold....and even worse.  It's twisted pleasure that destroys.  Proverbs 7:27 points out the house of the adulteress leads to Sheol.  Stolen water is sweet, but it leads to death.
Those who are immoral are idolaters (Ephesians 5:5), and those whose lives are characterized by sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, thievery, covetousness, being drunk, reviling, or swindling will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

1 John 2:16   For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Satan used  those things to try to tempt Jesus (physical need, visual effects, and power/pride of life), but Jesus was not truly tempted in that He did not fall for Satan's tricks to entice Him.  He used Scripture to combat Satan's attempts.

Ways to deal with temptation:

Flee - Whether running away a lot like Joseph, turning the head away, going out of your way to avoid the temptation, getting safety helps and accountibility, even taking radical steps.  If it's your own thoughts alone, redirect / renew the mind as well (Romans 12:2).

Use The Word - It's good to memorize verses to think of when temptations face us...or even get out a Bible and read.

Prayer - We can pray for God to help us and keep us from sin.

Draw near to God. - What is my relationship with God like?  Do I love the things He loves and hate the things He hates?  Why settle for a cheap imitation that will never satisfy?  This earth is temporary, and the pleasures here are fleeting unlike Heaven.  Do I love God enough to flee what in the end leads to guilt and sorrow?  How much time do I spend dwelling on sin compared with dwelling on the Word and spiritual things?

I want to encourage others who are reading this.  If you have been struggling with temptation, it may feel hopeless at times.  That doesn't mean you can't have victory if you belong to Christ!  It's true.   Forget what lies behind and press on.  If you've fallen, get up repent and fight, fight, fight!   If you belong to Christ, He will keep you, and you don't have to be a slave to your sin anymore!  What' more important to you - God and eternity - or wallowing like a pig in the mire?  Christians, we have better things to do!

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