No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. First Corinthians 10:13
Temptation, what a scary word. As a Christian I know that temptation that is given into produces sins. Some with more serious consequences then others but make no mistake, sin is sin. The same blood of Jesus Christ was shed for both the serious sins and the “little ones”. (In the spectrum of things, no sin is little. Take a look at it from heaven’s view and you’ll see that’s true.)
In this journey I take in my walk with Christ I see the Lord healing me of hurts, lighting my path and ultimately setting me apart for His purposes. In this process of being set apart sometimes I see how far I’ve come and think I’m strong. I’m doing well. That can be a dangerous way of thinking. Yes, I have come a long way but only by clinging to the Lord for strength and direction. Without Him I’m nothing. King David, a man after God’s heart, fell into sin with Bathsheba. This is a good reminder that God’s people can fall. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. I Corinthians 10:12
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
I’ve been down a series of humbling circumstances where the Lord has shone His light in my heart and revealed a couple of very ugly spots. Dark spots. I didn’t even realize these things were there to this degree. It’s like picking an apple and seeing a soft spot but when you cut it open you find the apple is rotten. Thankfully God can make us whole again.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. I Cor. 10:13 In this last struggle this verse kept going through my mind and became a comfort to me. For some reason I thought to be tempted was wrong but that’s not true because Jesus was tempted and He lead a sinless life.
Next I’m comforted to know that my temptation is common. I’m not the only person on the planet feeling the way I do. Funny how we often think we are alone but it’s rarely true. There are about as many temptations as there are people. The temptation of food, vanity, gossiping, sexual immorality, drugs, coveting and being envious of what others have and do, greed, stealing, cheating, lying.
Last thing I noticed about this verse is the word seized. Webster’s dictionary defines seize as to affect suddenly; overwhelm. Oh boy, isn’t that the truth! This particular temptation I’ve struggled with often comes out of the blue. Wham!!! Things start running through my head … Where did that come from?
Now I’ve done bible studies on watching what you think and watching what you say. I try to keep a good filter on both my mind and my mouth but this one thing…has been a thorn in my side. So I dove in and started studying about temptation. The bible actually has quiet a bit to say about it and it’s not all doom and despair. Actually because of Jesus we have victory. That doesn’t mean the path is easy. You must fight the good fight but that’s one thing Paul refers to in sharing in Christ’s sufferings. This week I’ve certainly learned the lesson that, when someone so in love with Jesus comes across temptation, AGAIN- for the 42nd time (or something like that) a fierce battle is fought in your mind and it truly is suffering. I would’ve thought this statement was weird if I hadn’t experienced it for myself. I get so tired of fighting that I just want to get rid of the part of the part of my brain that thinks these things. I now understand when Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin cut it off. It is better to enter life maimed then with two hands to go into hell.” Mark 9:43
Here’s the good news. In Romans 6,7, and 8 the bible tells us that we are free from sin if we have the Spirit of God living in us. It describes that battle in a person between the flesh and living according to the spirit and ends by reassuring us that we are more then conquerors in Christ Jesus. We don’t have to let temptation and the fear of sin rule over us. If you’re like me your sitting there saying that’s great to know but it doesn’t help me right now as I’m struggling with temptation. How do I defeat it? Good question. I promise you I’m getting to that. (That’s actually the point of me writing this)
…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. I Corinthians 10:13b
God has certainly been faithful in leading me through this. Make no mistake about it, God IS NOT the one who tempts. (James 1:13) Temptations come from fleshly desires within us and from Satan. However, God is rooting for us to get thru our temptations and trials sinlessly. As I said God has been faithful in leading me through the particular temptation that keeps coming against me. It doesn’t effect me all the time. I can go months without it bothering me but I’ve noticed even during those times the Lord gives me verses or someone brings up the topic in a talk or sermon or on the radio. It’s like God is giving me tips on how to get through this. Providing me with more weapons to fight my battles. Here’s some of the things I found out.
~Guard your heart. I mentioned it earlier but it’s worth mentioning it again. The things that come in through your ears, eyes and emotions are going to effect your heart. What is in your heart effects how you live, think, and act. You should know yourself well enough to know what areas you are weaker in. Be sure to keep your highest guards on those areas.
~Put on the full armor of God. I’ve mentioned this one in another of my posts but I’m telling you it’s not called the armor of God for nothing. We are in a battle. Aren’t you glad it’s called the armor of God. Not the armor of Hilary or the armor of George or Sam but the armor of GOD. There’s no better armor then that!!! So put it on. Continuously. Day after day.
~Stand firm! Keep standing for what is right.
~Prayer and worship. Those are big ones. Pray for protection on your mind, on your family, on the area that’s under fire. Don’t forget to praise Him. Praise Him just because…He’s awesome. Sing joyfully, with songs of thanksgiving. Prayer and worship help keep the right perspective on things.
~Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 If you‘re thinking you should go one way and you know it’s not God’s voice because it’s not what God would want for you and it doesn’t line up with Scripture, turn around and run the other way. Straight into God’s will.
~The last tip is confession. Talk to a friend, someone you trust and let them know of your struggle. Someone you know will love you but can tell you what you need to hear and ask you the questions you need to think of. I call that slapping you upside the head if you need it. Someone you can have accountability with and who’ll encourage you to go the right way. Pray about who this person should be. God’s answer may not be the one you would pick but trust Him.