My Fitness

Sunday, August 18, 2013

control of temptation (life under control week 4 day 3)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV)
A few weeks ago I was finding my life too difficult to handle. I tried to remind myself of people who have it truly difficult so I would be more appreciative but I couldn't get out of my funk. Eight days I felt terrible. I cried and cried and cried. I had no way of escape. Then I finally found my strength in the Lord. God is always the way of escape for those who trust in Him. It can be difficult to trust God. He may seem distant or uninterested in our daily lives. Our perception and reality, as expressed through God's Word, are often different. Do I trust my emotions? Do I trust my income? Do I trust my eyesight? Do I trust comfort? Do I trust my expectations, failed or realized? Or do I trust God?

Usually I trust God. The more I pour myself into His Word, the more He pours His Word into me. God never promised to make things easy. Can you imagine if Paul decided he didn't want to have yet another city treat him poorly? He was so giving and selfless. I want to be like Paul...actually, no I don't. His life sucked. I want to be like Paul as long as I get everything I want and I don't have to go through any pain or discomfort. I think if you were honest with yourself, you just might come to the same conclusion. Admitting my idol of ease and comfort allows me to offer it to God and He is able to realign my will with His.

I confess my sin.
He forgives my sin.
He corrects my sin.
I live more aligned to His image.

Then, later, He points out another area in need of improvement. [It can be painful like walking through a fire at times (Zechariah 13:9). I want and need to be refined. It is not pleasant every time. Sometimes conviction is very easy to implement and sometimes not.]

Anyway, how can I use this scripture to help me control my temptation?

1. Temptation is common: I'm not the only person to have ever felt like their life was spinning out of control. God took care of them and He's going to take care of me too. I'm not the only person tempted to over eat or be lazy or yell at my kids. Others have overcome these temptations. My life is pretty boring, actually. My temptations are pretty mild.

2. God is faithful: Even when I accuse Him of leaving me, He doesn't leave me. He doesn't stop loving me. He doesn't decide to just leave and let me face my temptation alone. He won't leave me in the midst of my temptation.

3. The limits are set: He will not let me tempted beyond my ability. But my ability rests in my reliance on His strength. God cannot be tempted nor does He tempt anyone (James 1:13). If I am resting on His ability and He cannot be tempted, then there is no temptation I need fear. He is my strength. Psalm 28:8 says "The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed." I have the anointing of the Spirit, therefore I can take refuge from temptation in God.

4. There's always a way out: Sometimes "the way of escape" is an actual physical path that leads away from the temptation. Often the path of escape was paved millennia ago on the cross when Jesus died and allowed us to live in communion with Him. He is our way of escape. If I find some temptation too unbearable I need to make sure I and buried in the Word and in Prayer. Then maybe I just need to take a nap.

5. You can stand the pressure: Endurance isn't necessarily fun or easy. Quite the opposite in my experience. Since I'm relying on God's strength, I can handle it. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

"...consider all that Christ has done for you. He endured the agony of the Cross to set you free from sin. His grace has given you a new life. He promises to always be with you through the Holy Spirit who lives in you. THe best thanks you can give God is to live your life in His control."

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