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

Enemy

 

devil angelI have tried hard over the years to avoid making enemies. I’m not a doormat that others can walk upon. I also don’t intentionally harm others. I have opened my mouth and stuck my foot in more times than I can count and hurt myself and others. I’ve always thought it was a mistake to make enemies versus friends. I may have significant disagreements with you, but there doesn’t have to be hatred involved. I do have an enemy and I try hard to avoid any association with him because he seeks my destruction. He employs whomever he can in his schemes and plans. The enemy has no power over me except what I give him. The Lord is the King of my heart and He squashes the enemy like a bug.

John, in writing about what he sees and hears, sees war break out in heaven. The angels throw satan down to earth. He longs to destroy the people of God. He wants to bring destruction to the church. He can bring temptations that are incredibly beautiful and appealing, but full of poison and death. Even though he has some power, I am full of God’s Spirit and the Power in me is much greater than the enemy. After the enemy was thrown from heaven, John heard a a loud voice. Check this out…

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say,

The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ
have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night,
has been thrown down.
11 They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
for they did not love their lives
to the point of death. (Revelation 12:10-11CSB)

The enemy makes lots of promises that he can’t keep. His promises are full of lies and deceit. He promises life when he’s full of death. He knows what his end looks like, so he longs to take as many as he can from the Kingdom of God. He will say and do whatever he can to accomplish that.  I must keep seeking the truth in God’s Word so that I can recognize the schemes of the enemy. He will be defeated in the end. I just don’t want to be among those he’s caught.

I want to follow the Lord closely each day and discover deep truth from His Word to insulate me against the enemy and his attempts to take me out. I look forward to eternal life more than this brief vapor of life here on earth.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity

The word " integrity"This is a special word. This word is defined as: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. This is a word that means a lot to me whether I’m dealing with my car mechanic, HVAC friend, car salesman, pastor or anyone. The character trait is big to me. This word speaks to who I really am as well as how I operate. This is something that matters to the Lord. King David speaks a word about this. Check this out….

11 I know that you are pleased with me,

    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me

    and set me in your presence for ever.
13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,

    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41:11-13 NIV)

 

I’ve mostly been of the opinion that if you have to speak about your integrity, then it may be absent. I firmly believe that if I claim to have integrity then I will need to be accountable for all that I say and all that I do. I need to be open to being “called out” if I’m out of line.

I’ve used this platform/journal of sorts to share what the Lord is speaking to me in His Word each day. It is my goal to live out my life with very strong integrity. I can tell you that I struggle with sin and temptation just like any other human being. I can also tell you that it is my goal every day to honor God with my thoughts and choices that lead to action. I want my thoughts to be pure and honorable as well as my intentions. If anyone reading this has ever thought that I’ve acted otherwise in any area of my life, please shoot me a private email and let’s meet. I’m certainly not perfect; but God’s Grace forgives me. I may need forgiveness from someone I’ve harmed without knowing or something that “slipped off my radar”.

I want the Lord to hold me and keep me strong as I try to walk out my faith with integrity and honor for Him.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Past

One man between past and future.There are things in my past that I’m very embarrassed and ashamed of. There are things in my past that make me shudder to think I was a participant in such selfish stupidity. The enemy usually reminds me of past even as I try to focus on my future. My past is gone – I can’t change my past or do it over. My past is in the rear view mirror – Thankfully.

I can focus on today. The things I do today shape tomorrow. Today will soon be my past and if I make good choices today, then tomorrow my past starts looking better and better.

Paul reminds us to learn from others behaviors. I believe that if I learn from my own mistakes that I’m pretty smart. I’m really wise if I learn from the mistakes of others. Paul reminds the church at Corinth that the Jewish people have a checkered past with the Lord. It’s important to study and know history so that we can avoid similar mistakes. Check this out…

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:11-13 NIV)

 

In my past I’ve been tripped up many times by temptation. I don’t always make good choices. I absolutely love the promise of God that He will always provide a way out of the temptation. When I resist temptation today, I become stronger tomorrow. I don’t want to be arrogant thinking I’m above falling prey to temptation. I want to walk daily with the Lord and stand strong in Him. He is the source of my strength in the battle against temptation. I can face anything in the future when I lean on Him to help me through.  When I stumble and fall – His Grace lifts me up and dusts me off and sets my feet back on the journey with Him!!

Pressing On!
Dwayne