Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dealing with Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 (Niv 84)
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.

We all face temptation, and according to the word of God, nothing we are struggling with is unique to us, but rather "common to man."  I think so many times we isolate ourselves in shame because of the past mistakes we have made, or perhaps the poor decisions we are currently making.  We often feel like no one would understand what are going through, or what we have done ... and we punish ourselves over and over again.  If you find yourself in this place, please know there is a difference between conviction and condemnation.  Conviction is the Holy Spirit working inside you to help you become a better you :)  It's His job, not mine, or any other pastor for that matter, to "convict" you about anything in your life -- that is the Holy Spirit.  Now as a pastor, I want to help you understand how to make the next step in your walk with God, and the benefits behind do so.  But so many times we feel "condemnation" - internally from ourselves, or even externally from others.  But the Bible says "there is therefore, now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1)  Satan's job is to "steal, kill, and destroy" ... according to John 10:10, that's his purpose.  He is the one reminding you of past mistakes, and failures, "condemning" you to a life that is less than all God has for you.

But in Christ, we are "more than conquerors"(Rom 8:37).  God's promise to us is that "He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear" -- it doesn't say you will NOT be tempted,  but rather he says you WILL be ... "But when you are tempted".  But the cool thing is ... He will provide a way out!  God knows what you are going through; He knows what you are presently struggling with, and He knows what you have done in your past.  AND HE LOVES YOU ANYWAY!!!!  As Pastor Randy shared with us this weekend, "You are God's happy thought."

Please, whatever you may be struggling with today, don't continue to beat yourself up.  Bring it to the feet of Jesus, pin it on the cross, and walk away in freedom.  Jesus paid the price for you and me, so we could live the other side of John 10:10 "I [Jesus] have come that you may have life, and have it to the full".  That is my prayer for you today - that you would live your life to the full.

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