Temptations Defeated

devil angelI definitely know what it is like to be tempted. I also know too well how it feels to fall into the grips of temptation. I believe that the more I come to know the Lord, the more the enemy steps up his game against me. It’s not about me, it’s about the Spirit of God in me – the enemy wants the Spirit of God in me to be rendered weak and helpless. Following the Lord is made up of daily decisions and choices. Temptations come in to distract me and discourage me from following the Lord. These daily decisions and choices are often made quickly without much time to think. In other situations, the enemy is working on for years to erode my convictions about sin.

Jesus spent the first few days after His baptism in the wilderness alone. I can imagine that as a human, He would be hungry, anxious to get His ministry started and eager to turn the hearts of the people toward His Father. The enemy attacks at each of these areas of weakness, but Jesus quotes scripture to combat the temptations. He puts the enemy at bay and then heads home to Nazareth to begin His ministry. Check this out…

14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. 15 He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19     and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” (Luke 4:14-19 NLT)

I’m not sure that I will ever be released from temptation until I breathe my last breath. I believe that the enemy wants to steal my joy, kill my convictions and destroy my walk with God. The enemy will not rest until I’m gone into eternity – his destination is damnation to hell and he has no part of heaven with God.

Today as I face temptation, I’m going to use the strategy of Jesus. I’m going to quote scripture so that the enemy will be defeated by the Word of God. I will find strength and power with the Word. I will remain focused on walk with the Lord and with the Holy Spirit’s help, the enemy will not take me down.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bible

 

Man praying with the BibleI have started reading a different translation lately. I am reading the New Living Translation (NLT) and I was told it’s on a 6th grade reading level. I really like it so I guess that says a lot about my mental capacity! One of the things that ignited my passion for God’s Word is when I read a different version and started hearing the truth differently that I had heard since I was a kid. I still love The Message (paraphrase) by Eugene Peterson as it paraphrases the Word of God in everyday, contemporary language.

I came across a passage of scripture this morning where Jesus is addressing the “religious leaders” who were calling Him out for healing on the Sabbath. He had instructed a man who had been lame for 38 years to get up and walk and take his mat with him. The religious leaders majored on the minors quite frequently. They were upset that the man was carrying his mat. They were also upset that the man was healed on the Sabbath. They seem to miss the point for sure. Jesus starts explaining Who He is and that frustrates the religious leaders even more. He then speaks clearly where the issue really is. Check this out…

39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. (John 5:39 NLT)

If I read the Bible and miss seeing Jesus; I’ve missed the point of The Word completely. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, this Word of God is about The Word of God – Jesus. The Old Testament sets up His coming to earth and the New Testament introduces Him to the world and shows us how to live and follow Him.

I don’t want to become so dogmatic about studying the Bible that I miss The Point of the Bible – Jesus. I would not know Him without the Bible. He changed my life starting many years ago. He is still changing my life today. The way He lived – The way He loved – It’s all in the Bible. He is God Who came to the world as a human and lived and worked among us. He not only saved me from hell; He inspires me to live in a way that honors my Creator. The Presence of Jesus in my life via His Spirit has changed my perspective and my response to everything. I enjoy reading the Bible to hear more from Him and more about Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Word Of God Still Speaks

 

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”

When I was around 14 years of age, I knew that I wanted to become a minister and serve in the church. I went to a little church in the country with about 60 people each week. The preacher there decided to help me prepare for ministry. He asked me to preach. He helped me prepare my first message. As I read the word this morning, I came across one of the passages of scripture from my first message. Check this out….

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NIV)

 

It is sometimes crazy to take a quick trip down memory lane. This trip was so different. I remember how I wanted to honor God with my life at such a young age. I remember how nervous I was for my first message. I remember also how I wandered from what I believed during my high school years. As I look into the Word today, I’m as convinced as ever that His Word is Truth and it’s most definitely a “road map” for life.  The Word of God equips me to be a follower of Jesus, a husband, a Dad, a friend and a REALTOR who serves others.  I love the song by Mercy Me called “Word of God Speak”. Check it out here.

I want His Word to speak into my heart every day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne