The Path of Temptation

17 10 2008

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  -1 Corinthians 10:13

 

If I were to ask you one thing you were struggling with currently, you probably would reply, “Only one?” There are many things that can draw our attention away from God, whether it is food, impurity, or even the busyness that keeps us from spending time in our devotions.  

 

Ask God to give you the strength and self-control to overcome this weakness.  If you confess it to Him and pray about a plan for the next time you are confronted with this temptation, you will be better equipped to walk away (“Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” – Luke 22:40).  But don’t make it harder on yourself by allowing this weak spot to be dangled in front of you.  If you have an incredible sweet tooth, don’t even walk in your local ice cream shop.  If you’ve made shopping into an art form (something I wouldn’t know anything about), stay out of the mall!  If you’ve found yourself addicted to lustful images, try turning the TV off for a week and stay away from the internet.

 

Of course, these are only suggestions.  The best solution is to find applicable scripture in the Bible and memorize it so that it can be repeated over and over again when that temptation stares you down the next time…and find an accountability partner or partners!  Don’t feel like you have to go through this alone.  God will be there to lift you up, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone tugging on your arm down here either.

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God-Shaped Hole

9 09 2008

God-Shaped Hole

Have you ever thought about earrings. For me, they were a much coveted reward that was unattainable until I reached the age of 13. Then, for some reason, my mother agreed it would be cool if I got two piercings in my left ear and one in my right (remember, we’re going back to the age of parachute pants and jelly bracelets people).

Fast forward nineteen years later. Most people I know now are not aware of my “wild child” status since my second hole in my left ear has long since closed up. See, somewhere between college and “oh my, what am I going to do with the rest of my life” I decided the double piercing in a single ear might not be what every company desired in their ideal candidate (not that I jumped into the corporate world all that soon after graduation, unless you consider dancing the “Crazy Signs” while working for Club Med in the islands ‘climbing the corporate ladder’. Luckily for me, the gradual lack of use caused the hole to close up and my ear to return to normal.

Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or somewhere in Mayberry, you’ve surely seen the tribal inspired plugs that some of today’s youth are wearing. From the little I know, these ‘earrings’ start out small, but by gradually increasing the size, the hole gradually stretches and grows, resulting in HUGE holes in the ears. Unfortunately, kids that walk the same road as me and decide a few years down the road that look isn’t working for them have a harder time reversing their predicament. Though the growing process was a gradual one, the end result prevents reversal in the same gradual process.

Aren’t our lives like that as well? We may over-eat little by little until we wonder why our clothes don’t fit anymore. Or we dabble in questionable relationships until we find ourselves in a predicament we promised we would never get into. Or our quiet time with God dwindles to the point where it is non-existent, creating a hole so big it seems nothing could ever fill it.

The good news is that no medical procedure could ever fix such a hole in our life; the only answer to close that gap is GOD. We rationalize that if we gradually got ourselves into trouble, we can gradually get out of it, when in fact we need to surrender ourselves to God for radical life redevelopment!

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can fill a God shaped hole on your own; before you know it, you’ll be looking through a hoop instead of a peep-hole. Expose yourself to God alone and He will not only heal your wounds, but they will be erased in the new creation that will be you!