Daily Devotional for Sunday November 15, 2009
The Temptations We All Face Each Day
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
I spoke recently about getting a battle plan from God to be victorious over the battles we face during this lifetime. Today I want to focus on the temptations we all face each day. It is giving in to those temptations that end up putting us in the battles we eventually have to fight. So it is key to understand how to overcome the initial temptations, and thus avoid having to spend so much of our valuable time fighting battles in our personal life, which keep us from being the productive servants God has raised us up to be.
Hear this point clearly. If satan can't get your soul, his next goal is to at least keep you busy fighting personal battles. The more time you spend fighting personal battles, the less time you have to serve God; that is why overcoming temptation is so important. The Bible clearly teaches us that evil comes from our heart. The actual progression is that it starts in our heart, moves to our mind, and is manifested in our actions. That is why "creating a clean heart" is so important. That is why it is important to stay in that deep, intimate daily contact with the Lord, so that what flows from our heart is pure and clean...since that is what dictates our actions. Temptation flows from the sin and evil still in our heart, and then goes into our mind.
It is in our mind that the temptation finds fertile ground to grow. Again, I have spoken many times of how important it is to "renew our mind", how important what we put into our mind is on a daily basis. It is in our mind that temptation grows and ultimately manifests itself in our actual conduct.
Today's scripture is one of God's special promises. God tells us that He will always provide us with a path of escape. That path of escape occurs while the temptation is still in our mind. THAT IS THE TIME WE MUST OVERCOME TEMPTATION. Once we allow it to live in our mind, the die is cast and will ultimately result in our rebellious behavior. There is not one person reading this that can say God didn't give you a path of escape.
The problem is, you chose to ignore it. Many times He gives us many chances to escape, but we choose to keep going right through the stop sign, right through the red light, right through the barriers....and then wonder how we could have gotten into such a mess. To overcome temptation, you MUST use the path of escape God gives you while that temptation is still in your mind. Once you decide not to use that path of escape, it is only a matter of time before the temptation actually results in rebellious conduct.
I love you and care about you so much. I know so many of you are fighting the battles of life each day. You are in very difficult situations. My goal is not only to help you overcome those difficult situations, but help you to avoid getting yourself in those circumstances in the future. Jesus loves you so much. Having walked this earth, He understands your weaknesses and has promised to help you avoid the temptations of this life. Your intimate daily contact with Him strengthens you, and your love and desire to live for Him give you the motivation to take that path of escape He offers to overcome temptation.
You can count on my prayers that you recognize each day the temptations this life offers and that you use the tools God has given you to live victoriously. Think of the incredible peace, joy, abundance this life can be when we are living for Him, serving Him, and not constantly wrapped up in those personal battles. May you be committed today to take that path of escape he offers the next time you face temptation, and live in the victory Christ won on Calvary!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller