Each and every day a person faces numerous temptations. No matter how young or old you may be, no matter where you grow up, no matter how much money you have; we all face temptations. Some temptations are more obvious than others. However, the temptations we face are abundant and will continue throughout our life. Even men and women who have been in the church for decades face temptations. We all have heard the saying that Satan comes to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) Satan’s plan is to destroy us and pull us away from living the life that Christ has called for us to live.
Throughout life, we all sin. We sin daily and sometimes we may sin without realizing it on the spot. Many of our sins come from falling into temptations. Although we know we will sin daily, we should not settle for falling deeper and deeper into temptation. We should work each day to defeat the evil temptations that come to our mind and heart.
This past Sunday, my father preached about living righteous in an unrighteous world. We are living in a world full of evil. The world continues to walk farther and farther away from the hands of God and his Gospel. As Christians we should have an attitude that wants to defeat the temptations that hurt our lives and pull us away from Christ’s calling and purpose for our lives.
So how do we defeat the temptation? We keep our hearts focused on Christ.
We must pray. Prayer is our daily communication with God. We can talk to him at any point of the day. Through prayer communicate with the Lord what you are going through and the temptations that you are facing. He will help you.
We must continue to read God’s word. Through the Gospel, we receive our instructions for our time on Earth. The Bible is full of examples of people who fell into temptation. In some cases, the temptation they fell into ruined them. In other cases, a person would realize their temptation, work to defeat it, and turn their life to Christ. Reading God’s Word should give us positive thoughts on Christ. Our eyes must be fixed on the Glory of the Lord, His promise, and his purpose for our lives. In His Word, we find scriptures that help us to overcome temptation.
We must stay focused. Our relationship with Christ should be the most important thing in our live. We should work to grow and improve our relationship with Him. As we walk with him, our trust in Him will grow. By studying God’s Word, a Christian learns more about temptation and how to defeat those temptations. Sometimes defeating temptation may be as simple as completely avoiding a situation that may put you in a situation where that temptation may appear. In other cases, defeating temptation may be a slow (and maybe rough) process. But with Christ, accountability partners, and prayer you can overcome temptation.
Many people fall to temptation without caring. Falling into temptation prohibits us from living out God’s grand plan for our life. JC Watts says that “Character is who you are when nobody is watching.” There are many people who attempt to be a person of high character when everyone is watching. However, behind closed doors they fall into a constant temptation without a care. No matter what benefit you think may come from following temptation, it will not compare to the Glory of the Lord. Through prayer, reading God’s word, and staying focused on the Lord’s calling we will gain knowledge of how to better fight the temptations that we face daily.
Though you may face many temptations or one huge temptation, run to Jesus, His Word, and a community of prayer warriors.
Starting over can be a scary experience. Moving to a new city with no friends or family for a new job. Going back to college after not being in a classroom in 10 years. Ending a relationship and being single again. Saying "I do" and having to start life as a wife or husband. Saying "I do"...again. Having a baby and beginning parenthood. Yikes! As exciting as new beginnings can be, we have to admit it is scary.
Often as we tread uncharted territory, we find ourselves messing up more than getting it right. Temptation presents itself and like a newly walking baby, we plant our feet, maybe try to turn our heads, but fall right down into what is comfortable. For example, New Year's resolutions. We have a goal, set out to attain it and find ourselves falling flat on our faces. Ok, let's not dance around it. You want to lose weight. You say "This year is it. New beginning for my nutrition and health." You do well the first few days then because you weren't mentally prepared, the family barbecue for Martin Luther King Day comes around and your plate is loaded with everything that causes you to gain weight. Or that one time that you knew sex before marriage was not what God wants, but you refused to get an accountability partner, pray about lusting, confess your heart idols to Jesus, and focus on His love for you. Then you wind up convicted and miserable about having sex...again. Too real?
Temptations rise in all of our lives. More often than we would like to admit, we succumb to self-satisfying desires. As believers, we are blessed to know that is not all of our story. Our failures are not our finish. Jesus is our finish. Our lack of overcoming temptation is not what defines us, but instead it is His love for us.
We definitely need a new way to live, be, think, relate, and love. But starting over, beginning anew, square one...all of those things for me cause feelings of anxiety, pressure, unpreparedness, and instability. But, there will be a time where everything will be made new. A new beginning won't be scary, daunting, or overwhelming. When God makes things new, they are peaceful, comforting, perfect, and welcomed.
Good news, great joy
Everything is new - Joel and Amy Davis
A few weeks ago, I sang those words with the praise team at church. They seemed to give me hope, excitement, joy like never before. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 ESV)
Are you excited yet? My God, our God, one day will make everything new. All of the disrupted peace in the earth, broken relationships, consequences for sin, results of evil running rampant, but good news, great joy, everything will be new! Every wrong will be right. Everything out of place will be perfected because God said He would. We can rest assured that God redeem and restore things as beautifully as only He can. I can hardly wait. I'm ready for Him to make relationships new. Sins against my body, new. Injustices, new. The church, new. Familial hurt, new. Generational curses, new. Failed attempts at resisting temptation, new, Poverty, new. Sins curses, new. His version of new is more than we could ever imagine.
I'm ready for His new beginning. Are you?
I saw. I know. It happened again.
No, you can change. Allow me in. Regret, guilt; let them go. It's ok.
This is not an apologetic relationship.
Remember how I took you just as you were?
Ok, good - then stop with all the justifying.
Do you realize that you limit me when you feel it’s necessary to add reasoning behind all the mistakes?
You are forgiven, not just temporarily given a trial pass.
That does not only correspond to what happened in your past.
I have news for you: your future is going to be filled with them as well.
Together, we can see you through to overcome these sins.
Together, we can do all things.
All things are possible; you’ve spoken that one to me many times before.
But do you actually believe what you are speaking?
Understand that it says “with” me.
All right, if you do understand, then stop trying to accomplish it on your own.
Don’t just tell me what you know; put action behind your faith.
Shame, disgust, pain; please let them go.
How do you think I see you?
Do you actually believe I see shame and disgust when I look down upon you?
Of course not.
I see a once cracked vessel that has been restored, made new.
I see a redeemed soul that wants to share love with anyone they meet.
I see a heart purified and a mind cleansed, set apart from the past.
I see one who doesn’t understand everything, who CAN’T understand everything, and yet still strives to know more about me every day.
Yes, I saw this time too.
Not everything is going to be instant.
You can turn away from what holds you back.
In truth, it is simply holding you down.
Maybe I can’t show you what I have next for you until I know you are truly ready.
However, that does NOT mean it’s not there.
Are you hearing that?
I ALREADY have it for you.
All you have to do is accept it and stop looking back.
What held you down before is gone.
Never believe you have any reason to hide from me.
Yes, I saw, but I never said I expected you to be perfect.
I have given you what you need to overcome this.
I can equip you, but I will NOT force you.
You CAN turn away from this.
Yes, I know how powerful and devastating an addiction can be.
But that enemy was already defeated.
This really is no fair fight once you can realize that you have me on your side.
I have ALWAYS been on your side.
Of course; I will always stay on your side.
We already won.
You never needed to make this your fight, anyways; it already took place.
It can only become your fight if you subject yourself to believing the enemy is a worthy adversary.
Start treating him as such.
I do hear you.
In those times you think you have gotten no response, I am still there.
I will never leave nor forsake you; I know you remember that verse too.
Those aren’t just words; they are my promise to you.
Yes, my covenant.
Just like the one you took for me.
I remember that day quite well, do you?
Good, then you can understand how powerful my desire is to help you along your path.
The day you took that covenant, you showed that you realized I was there.
I was there all along, but that act of you recognizing my presence, that is a day I will never forget.
I know you’ve heard about the rejoicing that takes place around here, but just wait until you actually witness and experience and feel and absorb that moment with all of us.
Maybe after you see that for yourself, you can begin to understand why I love you as I do and would never turn my back away from you.
I know. I saw.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness." Ephesians 6:10-18
Here young adults share their struggles and victories to encourage you on your Christian journey. You are never alone! God is with and for you and we always praying for you!