The interesting thing about temptation is that it's not about the 'thing' itself. It's about our hearts. There are always roots connected to that thing and the enemy knows our weaknesses. He will use anything to keep us from God. For me, it used to be an empty plate.
No, like for real, a consist empty plate (anorexia)! Then, it turned into a locked door with a razor...and I wasn't shaving my legs (cutting).
Then, taking stomach pills (which were not needed- self-harm). Girl, I had so many destructive behaviors. The root was abandonment issues. The fruit was...well, you just read several.
IT'S PART OF THE JOURNEY
I hate to be 'that' person, but if no one has told you by now, temptations are apart of this Christian walk. They ain't going nowhere! However, we don't have to be losers.
Oh, no! Quite the opposite in God's mind. "We are more than conquers, in Christ Jesus."
This ground we walk on is a battlefield. We surely have to fight to overcome temptation. We have an enemy that hates our God and will try to steal from us, kill from us, and destroy us (John 10:10). So, go ahead and expect it, sis.
Don't let that discourage you. Though we are in a battle, the fight has already been won by Christ! In fact, Jesus said, "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33)."
Temptations are tough. But, we don't have to fail. I want you to walk away encouraged, instead of defeated, sister. Equipped to fight and to trust.
1. How To Deal With The Guilt From Falling Again?
One of my Favorite Verses is "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)" As believers in Christ, we have no right to bear our guilt.
It is one thing to recognize our sin as sin and to turn from it. That is called repentance. That is pleasing to the Lord. Repentance is obedience.
However, it is something else to pick up our guilt, as our own. My sister, if you are holding on to your guilt, it doesn't belong to you. It was nailed to the cross a long time ago.
When Christ announced "It is finished!" it really was finished and we can't keep picking up the weight of our sin.
The way to overcome your guilt, after falling again, is the way it was overcome the first time, on the cross. Go to Scriptures where it tells you that your sins have been forgiven. Remind yourself of your freedom in Christ.
Fight the lies that say you can't be forgiven AGAIN. You are forgiven as much as Christ's blood can forgive. Are we going to put a limit on that? Case closed!
2. How Do I Deal With Honestly Wanting My Sin?
Oh, Let me tell you how brave it is to go ahead and admit that sometimes we just want to sin. Sometimes, our flesh knows the truth and it doesn't care.
We get weak. We get distant. We lose focus. We willing forget the truth. This doesn't happen in a sudden. It is a dangerously slow wandering. However, it happens.
So what do we do? Many of us try really hard to make our flesh want to 'do right.' We try to make it wanna read the Bible. Make it wanna pray. Make it wanna go to church... and actually be there. Make it wanna not sin.
So, you probably have figured out that method doesn't really work, right? Yep, me too! We can't make our flesh want God, it naturally hates God (Romans 8:7). That's why we have to die to the flesh. And, we do it DAILY. Not just on Sundays!
Sister, we can never sanctify the flesh, we must die to it. Instead of trying to make it do something it could never do, we bring it before God and ask Him to help us.
He will help us die to ourselves. He will help us love Him more. He will help us truly see Christ as more beautiful than anything this world could ever offer us!
3. I Keep Falling! Is There Even Hope Of Overcoming?
It was the third time that week that I had fallen into cutting. It was a struggle that went way back into my childhood. At the age of 19, you'd think I would have been healed from it.
No...it was the same thing over and over. I would go through a period of hopefulness and then it would break, ending in another fail.
I truly began to think self-harm was something I would never find freedom from. I slowly started to accept this lie. All of the evidence that the enemy cleverly presented was very believable.
God Is Gracious!
But, God is gracious. He gave me my family who kept praying and pushing me. They told me that with Christ, nothing is impossible. They were right. He brought freedom in that area.
Sister, no matter how hard it is, no matter how discouraging it feels to keep getting back up off of scraped knees...It is impossible for God to fail. He did not call us to surrender to sin.
He told us to battle! He told us to surrender only to Him. If you stumble a thousand times. His love will not leave. His love will be there a thousand times, and your Victorious Captain will say, 'let's keep going.'
There is always hope of freedom as long as Christ is alive, and He conquered death! He will never die. When you are discouraged, go to Him. He will not turn you away. Remember... there is therefore now no condemnation!
4. Why Won't God Help Me?
After all of our trying, pushing, and praying, we might wonder what God is up to? We might start to think that God isn't really for us. He isn't helping. We might get frustrated!
Is God loving? Does He even care? Nobody else seems to struggle this much? 'Hey, I'm actually trying to do right over here?' You know what a lot of those accusations sound like? An awful like lies of the enemy.
They sound a lot like what Satan said to Adam and Eve. 'Is God Good?' Yes, He is! We might not understand His ways, but there is verse after verse that tells us about His goodness.
Also, look at salvation! Christ died for you. He was sinless and took on guilt and sin for you. The cross is His greatest expression of love.
His ways are not like ours, and His thoughts are not like ours. We also can't even begin to understand the magnitude of His love and care.
He is our Father. Shepherd. Friend. Counselor. Comforter. Protector...and so much more. Don't let the enemy lie to you. Fight with truth!
The feeling of being stuck is horrible. However, that is what it feels like when we are tempted. It's like setting up an awesome display of donuts in direct reach of some sweet-toothed 5-year-old kids, while telling them, "Hey...no touchy!"
Um, we both can finish the end of that scenario.
But, literally, that's what Satan does. He doesn't offer us vegetables if we don't like them. No, he gives CAKE! The definition of temptation is" a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise."
There is just something desirable about doing something we aren't supposed to do! One way to not feel stuck is to know that you really aren't stuck and you are just being lied to. Yeah...Satan is the father of all lies.
Father Of Lies!
He is trying to back you into a corner and tell you "Isn't the man so cute? You are single and you are desperate for a relationship. He gave you His number! Well, what are you waiting for...you want it to don't you?! Eat the Cake." He just used your desire for marriage against you, girl!
You had a rough week and you feel shopping will make you forget about your troubles. The adrenaline rush from the excitement of going out is 'everything' to you.
"Spend the money, it doesn't matter. You earned it! It's just a treat. You want it don't you. Don't worry, the bills will get paid. Eat the Cake." He just used your desire for true joy and satisfaction against you, sis.
You are not stuck! You are believing lies! With every temptation, there is a way out.
Many people talk about the topic of temptation and the 'break-through' without the struggle. They talk about the praise more than the hell it took to get to the testimony.
This leaves sisters confused when it looks like their journey is going all wrong. I don't want you to think it will be easy. It won't! But, it's possible. Keep praying, seeking and trusting. Then...repeat.
- Identify your temptation. Then, identify the roots connected to your weaknesses. Time to do some digging!
- Don't mistake true repentance with carrying guilt. Is their any guilt you need to lay back at the foot of the cross today? There is no condemnation.
- When you want to sin, tell God about it. Don't try to make your flesh want to do holy things. Die to it and live as if it is dead. Follow the Holy Spirit.
- Have resources already prepared. Scriptures. Hymns/songs. Quotes. Prayers. Accountability. Journals. The Armor of God.
- When you are discouraged from the hundredth fall, remember nothing is impossible with Him. Write down reminders of that.
-Remember the cross, when Satan tells you God isn't good!
- Don't settle for the Cake (temptation), when you can have the substance (God)!
- You are not stuck, you are believing lies!
PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSING FLOW