Tag Archive: temptation


What is your god?

god-is-belly

Whoa. God doesn’t waste time, does he? Not even a chapter from where I have been reading, He hits me…#Philippians3

Is your god your appetite?!

Yes.

Absolutely it is.

My biggest struggle is self-control; food, finances, temper…oh the list goes on. But temptation with food is the worst.

I have been really trying to be strong in my food choices by avoiding my food triggers: sugar, bread, pasta…but oh how the evil one tempts, and yesterday was HUGE in my arsenal of decisions to disobey.

Confession time:
On my way home from work I decided to give into my craving for a donut. I stopped quickly at the convenience store and literally walked into my accountability partner. I immediately knew it was God providing my “way of escape.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) #sworddrill #ispygod

But did I take it? No. I waited until she left to buy what I knew she would call me out on. #gluttonyisasin

Oh Lord, please help my focus not be on food but on You!

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“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”   John 6:51

I love food.  I have always loved food.  Since very young I have been taught to enjoy inhale food, especially high caloric, high fat options.  I am an addict, and like a druggie grasping for a needle, pulling tightly on the elastic wrapped around my upper arm, desperate for quick release, a familiar euphoric state, just a moment of relief… I wildly search for my next fix.

I have been should be preparing a book proposal.  I have hundreds of short stories that I need to find a common ground, a thread of similarity, an iota of connection so I can organize them into a book that actually makes sense… by next week.

I have a publisher meeting with three different editors in 10 days, and I have no passion.  No drive.  No real hunger.

I sit down at my computer and look over these amazing stories God has given me, and I sort, shuffle, sift, and sort again.  I take some from one pile and shift to another.  I get up, walk to the kitchen to clear my head, open the fridge and close it again, stretch a bit, and return to the laptop only to shift things back to original positions.

I can’t find my way.  I can’t feel God’s leading or hear His voice.

My head falls into my palms as tears fall down my face.  I cry out for help, desperate for answers.

I push my chair back and head into the kitchen again.  I feel the cool air on my face and neck as I stand before the open freezer, looking for something, anything to move this writer’s block.

Mint chocolate chip.

Yup, that should do it.

I grab a spoon and dig in.  No need for a bowl.  I close my eyes as the creamy, cool, minty sweetness embraces my tongue and runs lazily down my throat.  A delightful moan passes my lips and I let out a contented sigh.

I put the gallon back into its frozen abode and head back to the computer.

I sit down, take a deep pacified breath, shuffle a few more stories, write a couple sentences, and my mind wanders.

Just one more spoonful.

I shake the thought off, and return my gaze to the computer screen unable to focus.  I start shifting stories again, exasperated huffs filling the room while I struggle with the layout.  I wriggle uncomfortably in my chair and exhale frustratingly.   I look away from the screen, close my eyes and irritatingly punch keys, trying to write.  My mind whirls as I muddle through words.

It all comes to a head and I stop typing.  I push back from the desk and move quickly toward the place I know I can find comfort, satisfaction, answers.  I yank open the freezer and grab my next fix.

Isn’t that just how our adversary wants us?  Desperate; grasping and clawing the air, trying to find delight and joy, comfort and peace, justification and answers in anything other than the One who can truly supply it?

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith… And the God of all grace…will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”   1 Peter 5:8-10

I have heard of people fasting, or giving up food for a specific amount of time in order to seek spiritual renewal or guidance.  A time for a person to spend praying specifically and strategically, humbling themselves so that the Holy Spirit will stir their soul.  But I have never understood it,

…until yesterday.

Yesterday I saw how easily I have allowed the devil to steal my focus, pillage my passion, and heist my devotion.  I have allowed him to seduce me and take my eyes off of Jesus, and I hadn’t even noticed.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”   James 4:7

Instead of finding satisfaction in my God, I sought out food.

Instead of finding delight and truth in His Word, I pursued fleeting joy.

Instead of true comfort and answers, I chased empty promises.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”   John 6:53

No more.

 

As I sat to spend time with God in prayer this morning, my thoughts were being pulled to get into His Word.

I hate to cut my talk time with God short, because as of late I seem to have a lot to say to Him. Perhaps God didn’t want to hear it today, because I did unload a bit yesterday.

Seriously. I had words…

ONE SIDED words.

But oh, I PRAISE HIM that He wants us to share our hearts!!

So, I asked God to show me what He wanted me to glean from His Word this morning, and I went to His Book. I began reading in Hebrews and found great comfort in Hebrews 2:18…

“For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”

I love that!!

Jesus was tempted as a human, so He knows what we are feeling when we are tempted. We can seek comfort from Him any time because He knows what we’re feeling!! He knows our pain, fears, and struggles because He experienced the SAME THINGS!!

That’s awesome!

Jesus knows how I’m feeling…
…when I don’t want to eat right and don’t want to work out.
…when I am frustrated that the house is a mess and the kids are fighting.
…when I am angry that He asked me to leave my kids and go to work full time.

Then it hit me. Jesus does know. He knows what it’s like to be asked to do something He doesn’t want to do. He was asked to give everything of himself, the most a person can give, and even He wants an out…

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me… “

Jesus, the Almighty God, in all his humanity didn’t want to do this thing he was asked to do. For one brief moment he wished he didn’t have to. Although in stark contrast to my own attitude, Jesus doesn’t stop there. I REALLY want him to, but he doesn’t. The moment passes and he continues…

…Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”   Luke 22:42

ouch.

Jesus submitted to the will of His Father as I must do, and accept and trust that the journey He has put me on is right for everyone…including me and my family.

Oh Lord, thank you for being so real. Thank you for being so understanding. Please give me comfort as I leave my heart at home with my kids each day. Give me your strength and energy, and give me opportunity to share my faith with those you have put in my path.

Not my will, but yours…

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”   Psalm 9:10

“God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”

That is a common belief, a common saying; you hear it in sermons, loved ones repeat it, pictures quote it …and in times of struggle; a wonderful promise and encouragement.

But I don’t know that I necessarily believe it.

Many people refer to 1 Corinthians 10:13 when they say God won’t give us anything we can’t handle.

“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

But that is clearly referring to temptation.  Referring to those times when sin entices us to make a choice; either to give in to it or turn from it.  God will always provide a way out of sin, but not always out of the storms and trials He allows in our life.

The Bible tells us that we will struggle, and be pushed to our breaking point.

For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”   2 Corinthians 1:8b-9

Sometimes trials are allowed because we need to learn or change something.  But sometimes they are solely for God‘s purpose and glory.  His strength is seen more clearly when we are unable to control things; when we are broken, weak, desperate and “have no hope,” when we have nowhere else to turn, but to the One who is hope.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “   2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Job suffered greatly;

Cattle, crops, and children were taken from him.

“The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword…The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them…The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword…  sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead…”   Job 1:14-19

Painful boils over his entire body.

“So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.”   Job 2:7-8

Paul suffered greatly;

He was beaten and imprisoned.

“The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.”   Acts 16:22-23

He was faced with incredible danger.

“Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”    2 Corinthians 11:25-27

So many believers suffered extreme hardships and were often fearful of death.  They had been tested so severely; they were so broken, so beaten, and they felt they couldn’t go on.  Obviously they did, so I suppose they weren’t given more than they could handle, because they weren’t dead…

My heart aches for a dear friend of mine facing some heavy burdens in her life right now.  She has given her life to and wants to glorify God, and has taken some absolutely amazing strides in her walk with Christ.  It is astounding to see how much she has changed from a woman who wanted to control everything and fought to do so, to a woman willing to give that control over to a loving and faithful God.

But my friend is broken.

She is pleading and begging God to take this burden from her, and I echo her sorrowful song.

I see the confusion and desperation in her tear filled eyes.  I see it in her downcast face.  I see the weight of it in her burden laden shoulders.  I hear it in her mournful prayer to our great God…

But as I watch her, I see a quiet strength within her.  As I see her questioning and at wit’s end, I also see arms reaching out, asking her Father to pick her up and comfort her; fists un-clenched and open, offering Him her heart, her life, her burdens…

I see sad, despairing eyes lifted up toward the heavens.

I see a woman begging for answers, lying in a heap of despair, desperately trying to hear God’s voice and reaching out to touch the corner, just the hem of Jesus’ garment.  (Mark 5:30-33)

 

Does God give us more than we can handle?  Absolutely.  When there is nothing left of us and we are at rock bottom, we have no other choice but to look up.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”   James 1:12

“but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”   2 Corinthians 6:4-10

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