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Overcoming Temptation


Is there any one here who has never been tempted?

We are all tempted throughout our lives in one way or another.
Temptation comes in many forms.

Temptation is the world’s oldest problem.

It’s been around since the time of Adam & Eve in the garden.

We all have our weaknesses, in which we are often tempted to step over the boundary.

For some of you temptation may be in overeating, lust or a myriad of many other things.

We all have certain areas in our lives in which we need help to control.
The good news is that God wants to help you gain control of those areas of your life that you struggle with.

Temptation unfortunately, hinders & stops spiritual growth.


Example of Temptation

Here is an example of temptation and the result of what happens when we succumb to it.

Most of us have maybe done it ourselves as children, or know of someone who has.

You know the story.

Mom has just finished baking a fresh batch of your favorite cookies.

You walk into the kitchen drawn in by the luscious aroma of freshly baked cookies.

You mention to mom how wonderful it smells, hoping that she will offer you one to eat immediately.

But to your dismay, she tells you not to eat any. They are for lunch.
Mom steps out the door to check on the laundry.

Meanwhile you hang around the kitchen soaking in the aroma of your favorite cookie, still warm.

You pace around the kitchen constantly keeping the tray of cookies in your sight.

“Mmmmmm if I could only have just one”, you say to yourself.
“If I have only one, mom won’t notice.” You say to your self.

Gradually your feet begin to shuffle towards the cookies.

And before you know it, you have one in your mouth.

And as luck would have, who should walk into the kitchen just as you about to swallow.

Mom, being as moms usually are, asks the silly question, “What’s that cookie doing in your mouth?”

You look up at her and immediately try to find a quick logical answer that will get you off the hook.

And you reply;” Mom, I climbed up to the counter, and wouldn’t you know it. A cookie got stuck in my mouth.”



What’s the Good News?

The good news about temptation is that God had offered a way to overcome temptation.

1 Cor. 10:13 tells us “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (King James Version)

What this verse is saying is, that no matter what the temptation that you are faced with, you are not alone.

All of mankind faces the same problems.

All are tempted. Temptation is normal.

We are all tempted in the same ways.


But! That is not all.

There is still a comforting message in this verse. God promises us that He will help us out. He will not allow us to struggle with the temptation on our own. Nor will He allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle.

People will often say that they just couldn’t help it when they fell into temptation.
Not so. God says you can overcome any situation, regardless of the temptation.
God has given us everything we need to overcome temptation. If you yield to temptation, it is because you chose to do so.

We will look at how God helps us to overcome temptation a little later.
But first, let us look at some important facts about temptation.


Facts About Temptation

1.    God tests us to develop our faith, our endurance and our character.
2.    Satan tempts us to sin in order to destroy our lives & our relationship with God.
3.    Temptation occurs when we feel compelled to satisfy or fulfill our God given desires in an ungodly & unlawful way.

Verse 12 of James chapter 1 says: ”Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (King James Version)

Blessed in this verse is translated from the Greek word “mak-ar’-ee-os”, which literally means “ Happy”.
We therefore could translate this to say; “Happy is the man who endures temptation,”

Why so?

Because there is a reward for enduring temptation.

Happiness comes when you have your life under control.
Your life is under control when you no longer have sinful bad habits, which control your life.

When you are able to say no to temptation, you are a much happier person.

Our verse continues to say that there is “A Crown of Life” for those who endure, overcome temptation.


The reward for enduring and overcoming temptations is “Life”.
Life eternally and life now, a happy abundant life.
When you learn to say “NO” to temptation you begin to live life, as God wants us to.

The Question Now is; “How do I handle temptation?
How do I say no when I want to say yes?

James tells us how to conquer and overcome temptation.

The process begins, by first having an understanding of the problem of Temptation.


1. We need to understand the problem of temptation

The best way to defeat an enemy is to know them well & to know their strategies.
So in order to learn how to overcome temptation, we need to know all we can about it.


What is Temptation?

My Unger’s Bible Dictionary describes temptation as: “ …the enticement of a person to commit a sin by offering some seeming advantage.”

Another definition given is; “The solicitation or an invitation to do evil. It is an opportunity presented to you to do something wrong.”


For example it is good for you to pass a test in school. But, it is wrong if you cheated in order to pass the test.

The test may be the trial, but the decision to cheat is a “SIN”.

James himself in scripture gives the best definition we have about temptation.

He writes; ”But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”. (James 1:14. King James Version)
And continuing, verse 15; ”Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15. King James Version)


There are three sources of temptation.

They are Satan, the world, and the flesh.
We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time.
Temptation in actual fact comes from within.
It craves the gratification that is offered from without; then when it has conceived, it brings forth sin.







The contest of the regenerate man

There is a continual battle going on within every born again Christian.
The flesh is in constant opposition to the spirit of a regenerated man.
And at the same time the Holy Spirit is continually moving, enticing the new man to oppose the desires of the flesh.
The trials of the flesh however, come from without.
They are in the things the flesh sees and desires.


2. Let’s be realistic about our temptations!

The fact of the matter is as a Christian you will be tempted to sin.
We are all tempted to sin.
It is not a matter of if, is a matter of when.
Temptations are inevitable.
Every day, one way or the other, we are all tempted to sin.
You are never too old.
You do not over come it by becoming more spiritual.
The fact of the matter is, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, or how close to God you are, we all are tempted to sin.
In fact, the closer you get to God, the more you will be tempted.

There is a common misconception among Christian that says, that once you are born again, you have got it all together.
Welcome to reality folks.
Can any of you say that you have got it all together?
I doubt it.
Do you remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says; ”There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” (NKJV)
You see, there it is, we’re all in the same boat.
We all have the same temptations, the same problems.

It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation in itself is not a sin.

Heb. 4:15 tells us; “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (NKJV)

Jesus was perfect. He too was tempted. But he never gave in to temptation.
It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give in to it.

Often times, many of us think things that pop into our minds without meaning to.

Where do these thoughts come from?

They come from the Devil himself.
It is not your fault.

But if you continue to dwell on these thoughts and act on them, then you have sinned.


3. How Does God Deliver Us from Temptation?

So how does God help us to be delivered from temptation?
Let me give you five ways in which God helps to deliver us from temptation.

1. Don’t let the devil bully you around

Eph. 6:10-11 says “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (King James Version)

Satan’s # 1 strategy is to intimidate you.

He does this first of all putting nasty thoughts into your mind and then tries to make you feel guilty about them

You know how it is.

You could be sitting in the church, just as you are now, and bang, just like that, suddenly some awful blasphemous thought pops into your head.
You don’t know where it came from. You didn’t spend time trying to draw up some nasty things to think of.

But the devil, ooooooh, he is a nasty little fellow.
He steps up on your shoulder and starts making you feel guilty about the very thoughts that he has put into your head.

You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.
Likewise, you cannot stop the devil from putting bad thoughts into your head, but you can reject them.
Guess what friends; you do not need to be feeling guilty about bad thoughts that pop into your mind.

It’s not your fault.

The only thing you can do about these bad thoughts is to reject them.
Don’t allow the devil to intimidate you; don’t let him bully you around.
Scripture tells us: “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16. NKJV)

Temptation unfortunately is normal, so don’t be intimidated by them, simply reject it, and remember where the source of it is from.

Put on the full armor of God and stand up to him.


2. Pray for Help

Ps. 50:15 tells us:”And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (NKJV)

Prayer is only a breath away. And help from the Lord is just that close.

He promised to help us if we will be pray, call upon Him

Is not temptation as good a time as ever to call upon Him for help?

Let’s face it folks there are very many situations when we are tempted to do something wrong.

For example, how about that time you were tempted to lie on your income tax, or perhaps to retort sarcastically to your boss.


Or how about you parents?

Have you never been tempted to sin against your children when you had it up to here with them for one day?

Sure, there are many situations when we have been tempted to sin in one ay or another.

God asks us to call for help in times like these.

And why not?

Since as Heb. 4:15-16 says, ”For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (King James Version)

Because He Himself was tempted, yet did not sin, Jesus is able to help us when we to are tempted.

Therefore let us go boldly to the throne of grace and ask help in prayer from the one who has Himself, been tempted and yet overcame.


3. Refocus Your Thoughts!

If temptation begins with our inner thoughts, then changing what you are thinking is the key to overcoming temptation.

We have a great verse taken from Phil. 4:8 which helps us with our thinking.

Paul writes, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (King James Version)

Look also at Prov. 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (King James Version)

In other words folks when in times of temptation, turns your thoughts away from the bad and onto the good things which are holy, pure’ & good.

Focus on God’s goodness.


If you are on a diet and you start telling yourself,’ I am hungry, I am hungry.”

What is it you are focusing on?

You are focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.

It has your attention, so obviously you are not going to be able to stop the craving for food because you have your full attention wholly on food.

The more you think about something, the more it has a stronger hold on you.

Therefore the key here is to refocus your thoughts on something entirely different.

You have to shift gears, change the channel.

Likewise sometimes when you are tempted it may be necessary to literally turn and run, just like Joseph had to do when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him.

You may also have to change the channel on the T.V. or shut it off if the programming is filthy.

I have walked out a movie house at the beginning of a movie because the first few lines were extremely vulgar.

Walk away from people who are telling crude and filthy jokes.

If you don’t want to get stung by bees, sometimes you have to get up and run.

If you are tempted to blow up in anger, you may need to walk away from the situation until you cool off.

No matter what it is that has got a hold your attention, if it si wrong refocus your attention or flee from it if you have to.


4. Share Your Struggles With A Close Trusted Friend

Many of us struggle with the same sin day in & day out.

Sometimes a Christian will carry the same struggle for many years.

You know what, IT HURTS!

IT’S PAINFUL!

I KNOW !  IV’E BEEN THERE, DONE THAT & EVEN BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT!

Friends, you don’t have to carry that heavy load by yourself.

James tells us in Chpt 5:16,”Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (King James Version)

If I were a betting man, I would wager that even right now, in this room, some of you are even now carrying a load that you have been struggling with for a very long time.

We’ve all at times carried emotional, mental & spiritual hurts, sometimes for too long.

God, through His servant James tells us to confess these things one with another.

Why, so that we may be healed.

Be open, honest and transparent with someone you can trust.

We are all in the same boat. We all have personal struggles.

The problem here is that Satan would have you to think that your problem is unique only to yourself.
He wants you to think that you are all alone by yourself in this struggle.

Guess what?

The chances are real good that someone else in this very room may be struggling with the same problems as you are.


Admit your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.

The question now is, Do you want to be healed or not?

Do you want to get over the pain?

What’s the key? Don’t repress it, confess it.
Don’t conceal it, reveal it.
By revealing your struggles with a close friend, you begin the process of healing.

Why should you confess your sins one to another?
Because once you do, the power that it once had over you begins to fade away.
When you begin to talk about a problem it no longer has control over you.
If there is a situation, a problem, a struggle in your life that you can’t talk about, it has control over you.
It is out of control.

If you can’t even talk about it, it is out of control.
It has power over you.

If you are having problem with your marriage & you cannot talk about it, it is out of control.

If you are having problems in school & you can’t talk about it, it is out of control.

If you have problems with your kids or a gutter mouth and you don’t want to talk about,

Guess what!

That’s right. It is out of control.


The very moment that you begin to talk about your problems, you begin to take back ground.

You begin to gain control over that situation.
When you do so you will have a feeling of liberation, of freedom.

You wanna know why?

Because when you do, you will find others saying that they to have been struggling with the same feelings.


Contrary to what the devil would have you believe, you are not alone.
Not only do you have friends here on earth to share your struggles with, but you also have an advocate in heaven.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1 King James Version)

& Remember this also;

1 John 1: 9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (King James Version)


Finally My friends,

5. Resist the Devil, the Tempter

James 4:7 says,”Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (King James Version)

Did you notice that there are two parts to this verse that we must do?

Submit to God.
This means that we must be subject to Him.
We must be ready to listen to Him.
We must be ready to obey Him.
We must repent.
We must not be proud & stiff-necked.

Then we must resist the devil.
We do this by closing our ears & hearts to his suggestions & temptations.
We do it also by using the Scriptures as the Sword of the Spirit to repel him.
If we resist him he will flee from us.

Eph. 6: 17 tells us to, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (King James Version)

In this whole analogy which actually begins in verse 11 we are commanded to “Put on the whole armour of God.” (King James Version)

Remember friends we are fighting a battle in our minds that is not between flesh & blood but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12 (King James Version)

We must be ready at all times to do battle. This whole analogy is a reminder to be spiritually dressed, to be spiritually prepared to do battle every moment of your life.

The problem is that too many of us are like spiritual streakers.

We get up in the morning and head off to work or to wherever, and we do not put on the armor of God to protect and prepare ourselves for the battle that lies ahead for us each & every day.

We have a tendency to start our day and often go the whole day without the Word of God.

We neglect the spiritual armor found in the Bible & in prayer.

When we do, the devil laughs at us because we are no threat to him. And we leave ourselves wide open to his fiery darts v:16

Getting back to Eph. 6:17, why are told to take the “helmet of salvation” (King James Version)


What does a helmet do for you?

It protects your head.
The battle for temptation is fought where?
In the mind.
Therefore the helmet of salvation protects the mind against the fiery darts of the devil.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have left your mind wide open to all the temptations and fiery darts of Satan.

You have absolutely no resistance whatsoever.
It’s like an open freeway to your mind.
You have no protection at all.

However when you are saved & become a believer, God gives your head protection, the helmet of salvation to protect your mind.

But you have to wear it.

I can go out and jump on a snowmobile or a motorbike.
But if I do no put on a helmet, I have got nothing to protect my pumpkin from a crash.


Likewise if I begin my day without some scripture reading and prayer, I have left my mind unprotected.

Next James tells us to also take our sword of the Spirit with us.
Which is what? The Word of God.
In other words fill your mind with the Word of God.

Another weapon, or antidote against temptation is God’s Word.

John 8:31 & 32 reminds us, ”If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (King James Version)

Do you remember what Jesus did in the desert when he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil?

In all three cases Jesus said,”it is written” & He quoted scripture to fend of Satan.

The Word of God likewise is also ours to use as a sword against the devil.

The best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about growing and becoming all that God would have you to be is to memorize scripture.


The Bible is worthless to you if all it does is to sit on the shelf & collect dust.
You need to read it, to use it, to study it, to memorize it.

But if you have scripture hidden deep in your heart, you can use it in times of temptation.

Ps. 119:11 reads, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (New International Version, ©2011)

Scripture memorization is not just for pastors, teachers, Awana club kids, but for everyone.

If you are serious about doing something about temptation, I challenge you to begin today to memorize scripture.


Conclusion

It was Martin Luther who said that you cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.
You cannot live without temptation, but you can choose to do something about it.

Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin when you dwell on it long enough that it eventually begins to take root into your heart and mind.

You have the choice to resist it and put on the helmet of salvation, think upon things of God.

You can only think upon the things of God if you immerse yourself daily in scripture and in prayer.

You can only resist the devil if you know the truth and the truth resides deep in your heart soul & mind.

And the truth shall set you free.

Remember that you also need the fellowship of other believers to help you fight he battle.

Share your struggles with others that they may help in the healing process.

What is the reward, the payoff?

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (New International Version, ©2011)





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Psalm 1

Article Overcoming Temptation (A Response to an Email)


I really do admire the way you laid this out. It is very well orchestrated to say what you want to say and get your ideas around certain points that you are having problems to understand. I was careful as I usually do to read the whole thing through slowly and carefully. I must admit to being in wonderment at first until you said in effect; "wait, hear me out."I applause you for that. I now understand more clearly where you are coming from and where it is you are struggling with, with my former reply.

Now, to clarify if I may: It is not sin when one has a desire for a sin. Though again I say it is wrong for us to contemplate a sin, because then, that becomes an avenue for the temptation to grow within us. It is like putting yeast within flour. The yeast will not become active if left in its container, or even outside its container away from the dough. But the yeast does become active when placed within the dough. A temptation is a design to cause us to step over the border and to transgress a wrong that our heart desires.It becomes a sin though when we act upon that temptation and commit the act which God says is sin. Jesus as we know was also tempted of the devil. A temptation is not a sin. Jesus never sinned we know.

To lust however after one once you have looked upon someone, Jesus makes it plain that it is a sin.The initial look was not a sin. We cannot help what we see walking by.However, when one transgresses from mere looking to desiring to have sex with another, then that is sin. From your description about the guy you worked with and your reaction, it would appear to me that you were indeed lusting after him, which Jesus says is a sin.

In Romans, yes it is true. Paul has written what appears to be in a sense as you say a spiral, a process leading into degenerate sins. Taking the whole chapter however into context, we see that especially beginning in verse 18 where this section of the chapter begins, we see that he writes that God is wrathful to people whom have turned from Him and have in turn begun to worship His creation, rather than the creator. Many would claim to be agnostic, unbelievers. But the truth is that natural man, if he abandons one truth, he will replace it with another. In this case he is exchanging the worship of God for His creation.

Paul goes through a logical progression, a lawyer type argument to prove that God has just reason to be angry with men who reject Him. They claim to say He does not exist to back their argument for His existence, but Paul shows us that God has revealed Himself through His creation etc. Verse 20.
And like you mentioned they soon begin to worship man made idols.

Now I do not believe that idol worship is necessarily the beginning of the downward spiral into sexual lusts in of itself. But, that it would be a good beginning to all sins. For once you abandon the worship of God and deny His existence, then the natural man illogically reasons that if there is no God, then there is no law, no moral laws by which he must be accountable to. So he then goes out and goes after whatever his sinful heart desires. It may be after any number of sins, of which sexual immorality is just one. Not everyone who denies God is into sexual immorality or even unlawful sex outside of marriage.

And yes, as you say, if we turn our backs on Him, He will turn away from them who continue to turn their backs on Him and He allows Satan and his followers to work on the hearts and minds of those who do not wish to follow after God. The Holy Spirit is not with them who do no follow after the ways of God to convict them of their sins. I think perhaps there is a point of no return for some where God says, okay, that's it, let them go their own ways and let them do what they want to do as you said. Their own sins will be their own punishment, for when we sin there is always a consequence to that sin. We may not always see the consequence immediately, but it is there and or coming. It is hopeful, that at one point, they will realize the error of their ways and repent, but for the most part man runs after the ways of the world and not after the ways of God.


I do not think that Paul is repeating a pattern as you say, but is continuing on as I said from those who deny god with idolatry and as I say in turn are given to go after whatever their immoral desires are. He is simply as I see it listing the many sins which man goes after and is when one turns his back on God. Because one is an idolater does not necessarily mean he will be a liar, a hater etc as listed in verse 29, but this is a list of they way many go. Not all again are sexually immoral, or boasters, haters or whatever, even if they are idolaters or have turned their backs on God. But it is true that those whom practice habitually at these sins will face God's wrath and eventually be sent to abode forever in hell.

Regardless of how you or I or any may interpret this passage of scripture, the truth still remains that any who practice these sins, will have their day of judgement. Sexual immorality is a sin as is lying, be proud, boasting etc. They are all sin. If you repent you will not be judged by Him

You may not as you say have been worshipping a man made idol, but anything at all that replaces God is an idol. If T.V. takes so much of our time that we find no time for God, then that is our idol. If it is the computer, or motor bikes, or games etc. Anything that takes so much of our time, that we have no time for God is our idol.

Your draw to be attracted to men immorally has nothing at all necessarily with idol worship, but everything to do for whatever reason with something in the past in which was used to draw you into that particular sin. It may have been the lack of your father always being there for you, or him always being so hard on you. Many men when they have a bad father become sexually broken because they seek after a male figure to replace and give them the love that their true father never gave them. I am not saying this is necessarily true of you, I do not know. For other it could be a mother who treated their sons in effeminate ways. For other it could be for very many other reasons of which you can find from reading the likes of Joe Dallas's books and others. And yet for others it may not be at all because of any insecure past, or anything psychological at all, but that they tasted or saw images of a naked man and wanted to try, or heard about it and wanted to try to see what it was like.


One does not receive the curse of a sin, it is that one gives in to the desires of a sin by whatever temptation that they give in to. God it says tempts no man. James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (King James Version)

Your having been sexually assaulted as you say may have been the avenue by which the process towards the inclination to your attractions began. That is very common for those who have been assaulted at a young age. It could be that plus the accumulation of other things which lead you astray down the wrong path.
 
But whatever the reason where ever you are , be assured that change is possible. It is now time to let the past lay dormant and look not behind any longer, but to look to what God is doing in your life and begin to co-operate with Him by living the life He wants you to live. By obeying Him and His ways. By exchanging your sinful ways for His ways. But ceasing at lusting after man, and lust after Him to be like Him and not natural fallen man. If porn is one of the ways you sin, exchange that for reading scripture on the Internet or in your Bible. Turn off all possible ways in which you can be possibly motivated to sin. If you have a bottle of booze on the table and you are an alcoholic, then get rid of the bottle. If you trap is walking by an adult book store then stop walking by there. Take another route. Do you see what I am saying. Take dramatic, drastic steps to remove any possibility of any temptation coming before your eyes and your mind.What you are doing that is wrong, replace it with something that is righteous. Make no excuses for the lust of the flesh. As we are told in 1 Cor. 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (King James Version)


Temptations are not abnormal. They are normal and to be expected. They are common to man. God promises though to not allow us to be tried or tempted beyond what we are able to handle. He makes a way to escape a temptation. We do not need to fall into the preys of temptation, We more than not fall and sin, because our flesh desires the sin and we give in rather than using the resources God has given us to avoid falling. If, a river is washed out and a temporary bridge is made to by-pass the washout, then anyone who attempts to go through the washout is likely to fall in and perhaps drown. They drowned because they did not use the resource made for them to escape danger. Likewise God has offered us the resource to avoided falling and drowning in our sins. We just have to use them.

I pray that this helps to clarify things for you.

God Bless

André

The Father of Lies

Jesus called Satan a murderer, and a liar, the father of lies (John 8:44). You are right. He goes all out seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). But we do not need to get caught up in his deception nor lies. For we have God on our side whom is stronger than Satan could even imagine to be and He will fight for us and give us strength to win and flee temptation. James tells us in James 4:7 that if we "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (King James Version)
 
The following verse tells us if we draw near to God, He will draw to us. What better friend and adversary can we have but God.
 
Go therefore resisting Satan and cling to God and victory will be in your hands through Jesus Christ who gives us the victory.
 
God Bless
 
André

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1 Corinthians 10:13

He is always there for you!

Sadly, it is an unfortunate thing that we cannot always rely on other people. I am as guilty as any for not always being reliable at times, though I try to be. But, as scripture says, we have and advocate with Jesus . 1 John 2:1 says: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (King James Version)
 
And remember also He also says: ".... I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  Heb. 13:5 (King James Version)
 
This is one promise that you can count on eternally. He is always there for you and He will always be there to give you strength in the times of temptations. 2 Cor. 10:13 is that promise. Hang onto it and onto Him when tempted. I have said many times, when we turn to Him in times of temptation, whether in prayer, meditation, scripture reading etc. It is impossible to sin because you are no longer focusing on the temptation, but on Him.
 
God Bless
 
André




Don't Give up the Fight!

I would like to encourage you all the more to continue and not give up the fight. We can never understand why God allows us to go through tough long fights, and why He just does not clean us up and change us in a snap.
 
We may never know those answers on this side of eternity. But this we do know about Him. He is all knowing, omniscient and His love for us is beyond any standard that we could measure His love for us. He wants us to stand beside Him and He wants us to continually rely on Him for all our needs, emotionally, spiritually and physically. He has told us that He will supply all our needs. We need not question Him but all we need to do is to trust Him at His Word.He never lies and His Word is truthful.
Ps. 33:4; Ps. 119:160; John 17:17; 1 Thes. 2:13

It is hard to trust anyone else and even Him at times, because our inner old man always is fighting the newer man that He is changing us into.
 
Remember to that we have a foe whom wants us to fight against God and to follow him instead of God. Though you and I are both spiritual and physical beings we see only the physical and it is hard at times for us to grasp the idea of the thought that there is a spiritual host out there that is fighting to keep us under the dominion of Satan and his followers. As Ephesians 6:12 says : "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (King James Version)
 
If this is all we had and no one to help us against the fight, we would indeed be hopeless and might as well, as the world says: "party on for tomorrow we die."
 
But, "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1 (King James Version)
 
He (Jesus Christ,) is our lawyer whom stands before the Father and pleads our case before the heavenly throne. Though Satan , The accuser of the brethren fights against us, we know that he shall be defeated, and that all his accusations and finger pointing will come to naught. For Christ has never lost a court case for believers, and never will.
    
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Rev. 12:10 (King James Version)
 
And remember this  also,  Rom 8:1-39 (King James Version):
 
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 
 
Though we may walk this earth with a sinful nature, there is yet within as new creatures being transformed daily that also is at war against Satan and his hoards. And because of our love for God, He will not let anything, anybody come between us and Him. Though we may at this time feel like we are losing the fight, we will win the battle in the end, for Christ Himself shall come with a two edged sword and conquer forever the enemies of our souls and God.
 
So my final word to you tonight is to be as Paul:
 
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." 1 Cor. 9:24 (King James Version)
 
And remember to "....we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Heb. 12:1-2 (New International Version, ©2011)
 
Go therefore forward this day onwards and run and fight:
 
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Tim. 6:11-12 (New International Version, ©2011)
 
Then you will be able to say as Paul said: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Tim. 4:7 (King James Version)
 
God bless brother "...lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28 (King James Version)
 
And remember: "...that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6 (King James Version)

Our Guard

We must not let our guard down. To do so is like a soldier to go out into battle with his weapon. He would be totally unable to defend himself. Likewise, we need to be on our guard at all times, just as you are when driving, keeping your eyes fixed on the road ahead and around you constantly looking for danger. The devil and his minions are forever seeking ways to get past our guards and to encourage us to sin against God. Keep up your guard, put up whatever blocks and brick walls you need to keep the devil and his followers out.

André

ESV Audio Widget

James 4:7

Rely on Him

1 John 1:9 tells us "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)

If you said that you do not sin, of course you would be a liar. God knows we all struggle with one type of sin or another. We are born with a sin nature. Does a baby need to be taught to cry for attention. No, it is inbred at birth. We are born with a sin nature but now that we are new born creatures into the family of God, we have a new man battling the old for supremacy in our lives. It is a tough fight, but fight we must. And remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says: "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." (New International Version, ©2011)
 
If you rely on Him He will see you through any temptation and give you the strength to resist and over come. Sure you say, But I just can't. Yes you can. If He is God, and His Word is TRUE, then If He says so, you can resist any temptation, not on your strength but on His.
 
Sooooooooooooooooo
 
Go and have a great and Godly week and rely and trust on Him for strength in all areas of your life
 
andre

What if God Was Sitting Right Beside Me?


Another way to think about it might be to think: "Would I do this if God was sitting right beside me?"

The fact of the matter is, if you are a child of God, He is there beside you and He knows everything you do, and every thought that crosses your mind.
 
 
Andre

Be Tough

I have heard it said many times, that the only way to fail is to give up. God has brought you here because He does not want you to be a quitter, He does not want you be be a failure. He has created you and knows everything about you. He loves you with such an immeasurable love that he has promised that he will never forsake you. ( Heb. 13:5) All He wants of us is to love Him and obey Him and He will take care of the rest. So I urge you to hang in there through tough and thin, to lean fully on Him and trust Him to complete the work that He has begun in you. ( Phil. 1:6) He has called you here to help you do that very thing. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Be tough by letting Him.

No Room for the Things of the World!


If you are filling your mind on things of the Lord, there is no room in your mind for the things of the world, especially sin. The Bible is the Sword of the Spirit given to us from the Father. It is our shield and defender to help us to flee from and to avoid the fiery darts of Satan and his hordes. Read it every day, memorize scripture verse, pray always in all things, spend quality one on one time with Him. If you develop this habit, it will not be long before you are no longer tempted and it will all seem like a bad dream.
 
Go forth this week with the Spirit of the Lord in you heart and have a good and Godly week.
 
Andre

Every Man Struggles with Something

Indeed, every man struggles with something. Every man who  brags is usually a liar. He brags to make himself look better than he really is. I have always said that about guys who bragged about having laid a girl. If the truth be known he likely did not.
 
You are right. Even young guys have their insecurities. Look at high school kids, the struggles that we are aware they are having. They are under so much peer pressure and then their is the pressure from home and family etc. Our society is bent on making us more than we really are. That I fear often enough is the root for many of our problems in our society today.
 
Younger folks try to grow a beard and moustache so that they can look older. They smoke to look older etc.
 
Yes, we are all insecure because we are trying to make ourselves look like the Marlboro Man looking cool up there on the bill board all tanned and looking tough with a smoke hanging out of his mouth. That is not the model that God wants us to emulate.
 
We have much better models to try to resemble in the Bible with the likes of David, and Job, and Abraham. But they to all had their insecurities and failures. But at least they had their eye on God trying to be more like Him. And so should we to. It is not being a sissy to imitate God as some would have us believe. It is a sissy to try to be the weak humans we try to copy from the world.
 
We will some day conquer mountains and more. But for now while we are in the side of eternity, we must work with Him and try to conquer our sins and try to be the real man, Jesus.
 
Andre

Article Overcoming Temptation - Another Response to an Email


Dear Friend;
 
As per your question. Yes God gives natural desires which are all good. Like in the article I  give the examples of eating, sleeping etc. And sex is also a natural desire which He has given us. But as I am sure you know He has drawn a boundary line around sex. Sex beyond marriage is forbidden. Sex with animals is forbidden. And of course sex with the same sex is also forbidden. It is not the way He designed us to behave. And besides that He in His Omnipotence also knows that having same sex is not healthy.
Sex in itself with a married spouse is of itself natural and good. It is a gift that God has given. He has made it to be pleasurable for a married couple.
 
So to answer your question, yes there is a lawful way to have the desire of your flesh met. But it is not with another man. The lawful way as I am sure you know is well spelled out throughout scripture. God created man and woman. He created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve to live a married life where sex is to be enjoyed together.
 
God created the natural order of things in the beginning, and He said it is good. Gen. 1:31 But when Satan entered the picture and Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the tree He had told them not to, sin was ushered into the world. Since then, just as he did with Adam and Eve, he has been hard at work to change the natural order of what God has said is good and deceived the world to believe that what God says is not good, is good.And what God says is bad, Satan has deceived the world to believe what is bad is good.What was once good is bad, and what once was bad is now good. How he has twisted God's truth to deceive the world. And now we see the results big time of a fallen world. A world where every sinful imagination is practiced and coached to other to practice as normal and good. Romans 1 & 2 spells it well out.
 
So it is not God that has boxed you in, it is the sin within you that desires to go after unlawful flesh. And now because your desires are so strong you feel like there is no way around it. Your sinful flesh no longer seeks after the lawful ways, but the unlawful because you have allowed yourself to practice  same-sex attractions for so long.
 
But, again, please read my article in full again several times over slowly and carefully. That is not the end of it. You do not need to be entangled and captured in the chains of sin. God wants to help to set you free to become the man He created you to be. You need to stop practice what is unlawful, and begin to practice what is lawful. It not easy at first, I do not argue with that. But you need not stay in bondage to sin. Jesus came to set the captives free. And He is waiting for you to first of all admit to yourself and to Him that you have a problem and that you need help. To accept and believe that of your own strength and power you are unable to break free. When you can accept that and come calling upon Him, then He will begin the work of helping you to be set free, to change your old ways and renew your ways, your mind to behave and become obedient and become more and more like Him every day.
 
But, again, just as the alcoholic will never become a non-alcoholic by hanging around the bottle, you also must take the step by start making right choices and start obeying Him and running away from your sinful desires just as Joseph did when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him. Run and run to God.
 
God Bless and have a good and Godfull week walking not after the desires of the flesh, but seeking rather the will of God.
 
Andre





Be a Doer!

It says in James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (King James Version)

This chapter of James talks in length about temptations. The general gist though we need to understand is that it does you no good to read the word of God only. You and I also need to apply the Word of God into our lives. Otherwise it is worthless. You may as well throw your Bible away if you do not be a doer. Be a doer, follow the words of God and be obedient to God. Then and only then will you have freedom and victory .
 
Andre

Always be Ready! (A Reply to an Email)


You mention that the Lord taught you that He is coming again and that you must be ready. Absolutely. That should be a strong motivation to be always ready. Always be looking up and reading for His coming. Scripture tells us that no one knows the hour when He will return. It could be right now. It could be five minutes from now. It could be next weekend, next week, next summer. We do not know. But we need to be ready. How can you be ready if you are involved in any kind of sin? Scripture also tells us that when we are in sin, He is not with us. That is He will not stay beside us. When Jesus took on the sins of the world on the cross, the sky turned black. He said: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me." Mark 15:34 (King James Version)

At that moment in time when Jesus carried the sins of the world upon His shoulders, God had indeed departed from Him, because God cannot be in the presence of sin. How much more will He be present with us if we are involved in sin. Think upon that the next time you are tempted to fall into sin.

Andre



Replace Sind with Something New!

If one amputates a leg, it can longer be used, though one often thinks it is still there. If you amputate things that can tempt you to sin, you can no longer be tempted to sin in those areas. Though it may cross your mind from time to time, you will no longer have he resources to sin. A thing that is no longer used soon becomes a thing of the past, becoming a past and soon forgotten. It is said, (I learned this when I was trained to drive school bus years ago) that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. So, therefore, if one tosses away a way of sin, what you no longer do, becomes something of he past and must be replaced with a new thing. If you use that time you used to use in sin, for God's glory, think how much you can accomplish for Him! Soon you will find it a joy and a good habit to be working for Him than for the devil, which is what you do when you are involved in sin.

Sin and the Temptation to Sin

Another thought that crossed my mind regarding sin and the temptation to sin. Proverbs 23:7 a says: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (King James Version)
 
Most guys and gals for that matter, seek to do whatever your heart desires, you will go after it and get it. It is a proven fact, that if you so desire so much in your heart to achieve something, you will achieve it. Likewise, if you so desire in your heart to go after unlawful flesh, you will be just that, you will chase after that unlawful flesh, because it has become imbedded in your heart, your flesh.
 
So the bottom line is, if you sincerely desire to change, to quit seeking after unlawful flesh, take a change in your thoughts, what you desire. If you decide in your mind that you do not like spinach, guess what? You won't like spinach. Likewise, if you decide in you mind that you no longer desire unlawful flesh, guess what?  You will no longer like and no longer seek after it.
 
Colossians 3:1-8a,9-10,17: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these....., seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him... And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (King James Version)
 
Can you in your right mind be abiding in sin and honestly say that you are doing it in the name of the Lord?

Temptation

The word temptation, as it appears in the original language in 1 Corinthians 10:13, can refer to the temptation to sin, or it can refer to testing and trials. Christians are not free from temptations and testing, but we are not alone in them either. You do not experience anything that hasn't been experienced by others, which is one reason fellowship with other Christians can be so helpful.

God is with you when you are tempted. He allows temptation to strengthen your faith and help you grow, but the temptation is never beyond His control. Not only does God offer unwavering encouragement and assurance, but He also provides a way out of the temptation.

You can be encouraged because Christ Himself experienced temptation and gives you the perfect example of how to deal with it. Jesus understands temptation (Hebrews 4:15). He is not merely a compassionate bystander, but He actually knows our difficulties firsthand. It is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted, yet He never sinned. Sin occurs when you submit to the temptation rather than to the will of God. When you depend on the resources of God, you can resist any temptation.



Bad Programming

When I was a young boy, my parents would not allow us kids to watch violent programming on T.V. Why?  Because if we would watch this stuff, quite possibly we would in time imitate the violence. That is, a bad trait learned, is a trait copied.
 
Jesus said as much when he said that it is not what a man eats that makes Him bad, but what is in His heart. Okay, let me clarify a bit.
 
If we entertain and watch bad programming via any media outlet or read it etc. We learn it. It enters the soul, and we learn it. Same way, when we go to school, we are entertained with knowledge. Some good, some bad. Though we would like to believe when we go to school, we come home and say we learnt nothing in school today.
 
Well, the truth of the matter is that we do learn, whether we want to admit it or not. The brain is a sponge which absorbs everything that is being presented to it. Some of it is filtered out and placed into the delete and garbage bin by choice. But, like a computer, which is exactly what the brain is, our brains never actually delete messages taken in unless their is sufficient damage done to the brain due to an accident or by death.
 
Therefore, all the bad stuff we watch on T.V. on our computers, read in magazines, books etc., is all there in retention, never really forgotten, but just put on the shelf for further use when by need or want, the brain brings all that information back out of the folder and into the forefront of the mind.
 
That is why, we are told to seek first the kingdom of God and not set our minds on the things of the earth, but on the things of God. Col. 3:2-3
 
Now, therefore when Hollywood sends us these types of bad programming and young and or old watch it it, where does it go? Into the mind for future reference. And they know it. All that we see & hear is stored into our memory banks, and unless we have the nature of God and are re-born again into His likeness, guess what, we become and do the things stored in our minds. True, not all will copy and do the bad, but it is still there in your minds and it makes it all the more probable, that given the right circumstances, that bad knowledge will come to the forefront of your minds and you will act as the world and do what is not right in the sight of God.
 
I can recall that as a younger person seeing many movies of what the future would be like. The past movies rightly prophesied the world of today, because the media has been portraying for the last roughly 50 years what we are seeing today as the norm. So if what you are seeing on the T.V. today is a look at the future, how bleak will the world be. Look no further than your t.V. and the prophecies of the Bible to know what the future holds for the earth tomorrow.

Fantasies and Temptations

Fantasies and temptations may be a life long thing or not. However when they arise, remember help, is only a prayer away when you call upon Him when things comes along. You can ask Him to take away these thoughts and or just talk to him. When you replace thoughts and fantasies with prayer and talking with Him, guess what? Only God is there.

Andre

Focus on Things of the Lord

As idle hands look for something to do, likewise the mind when inactive longs for something to keep it occupied. As you are aware, no doubt, there are two forces at work in our lives: Satan and God. If you are not focusing on the Lord, Satan will fill the void, and visa versa. So, of course the best thing to do to be able to resist the trappings of Satan is to keep focused and doing something worthwhile for the Lord or at least to keep the hands busy doing something productive. And perhaps, I should go one step further. If you are able to keep your hands busy doing something productive, it is a good practice to have the radio or tapes, or something on in the background playing Christian music or listening to good Christian radio hosts like John McArthur, Charles Stanley, etc. If the mind is hearing and focusing on things of the Lord, it is not focusing on things of the devil. A scriptural verse which condenses all the above is found in Col. 3:2: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." (King James Version)
 
God Bless
 
Andre

Keep Your Mind and Heart Firmly Fixed on Him (A Reply to an Email from an Online-Group Member)



I do not believe that God would want to keep you in a way that is contrary to His moral laws. Though it may seem that he is dragging His feet at this time in dealing with your inner struggles, be assured as it says in the poem "Footprints in the Sand" that He is always with you and is always carrying you even in the worst of times. He may be allowing you to struggle on a while for purposes known only to Himself, but for which are in your best interest. Change of course does not occur over night especially with habits that we have been in for some time. As with any bad habit we need to replace and change that habit with something else to fill what may seem like a void until such time as the bad habit no longer exists. It is said that to develop a habit takes 21 days of constantly doing the same habit over and over again, This is a quote I learned when I was training to drive school bus several years ago.

So, please do not be discouraged thinking hat you will always struggle with this, or that God wants to keep you there. Those types of thoughts come from only one place, and that is from the father of lies himself, Satan. John 8:44  He will do anything to keep you where you are at, to discourage you and to drag you down. He does not want you to change. He is working on you big time because you pose a threat to him these days as you are struggling to do the will of God. He hates God with a passion. He hates you as you struggle with change because you are a likeness of God and he hates anything that reminds him of God.

Therefore, do not give up, keep working on believing that change is possible and will happen though not perhaps as fast as you would like. God is not finished with you, but has only just begun. Be sure of this: ".....that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6 King James Version)

Have a great and Godly week, keeping you mind and heart firmly fixed on Him.

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:2 (King James Version)

Andre

Keep Looking up to Him!

Keep looking up and to Him for with Him all things are possible. He has not forgotten you nor turned His eyes off of you and He is working on you making you to be the man He wants you to be and has something special for you to do for Him.
 
God Bless and have a good week
 
Andre

Habits

It is said that it take 21 days to break a habit. 21 days to develop a new habit. So perhaps those areas where you want to break and old habit, work one day at a time and see if you can make it for 21 days, then more and before long you will have forgotten the bad habit. I was once told that you have never really quit smoking until you have forgotten how long it has been since you quit smoking. Likewise I suppose it could be with any bad habit. it is a goal to shoot for and achievable with His help.
 
Go for it. Have a great and Godly Week.
 
Andre

The Net

Be careful about surfing the net. If you should come across something you know you should not look at, please delete it right away. Temptation is a nasty addiction, in that when you see something, it entices you to come inside and stay a little while, which in turn turns to succumbing fully to the temptation. Just as Joseph ran from Potiphar's wife, you, too, must run away from any temptation.
 
Have a great week
 
Andre

Spend Quality Time with God (A Reply to an Email from an Online-Group Member)


Life is one continual up and down experience. Would it not be great if it was always up?  But God allows the valley and dark path experiences to teach us His ways. Even if we were righteous always, we will still always have much to learn about Him. Look at the life of Job. He was a just man, yet God allowed Satan to sift him though terrible valleys with he loss of his family and home etc. Yet, Job did not play the blame game on God, but used the experiences to  be a reminder and a teaching experience that whatever God allows in our life is a gift, whether it seems like it or not. Each day is a day to learn, to draw closer to Him.
 
Be careful to not let a single day to slip away without having spent quality time with God. Just as our bodies need daily physical exercise to keep in shape, our spiritual life is the same. If we allow one day, two days, three days to slip by without quality time with Him, our spiritual life becomes slack, it becomes saggy. It is said that it takes 21 days to develop a habit and only a few to break a habit. When you miss days of a habit, it slowly becomes more days, and soon you are totally out of step with that habit. Therefore be careful not o allow even one day slip away from spending quality time with Him. I know, I have been there and unfortunately have allowed it to happen to me. Then it takes hard work and steadfast devotion to get back into step with God again.
 
Good for you. Look in the mirror and seek and see Christ and not the sinful man we are. When one seeks into depression, it is because one takes his eyes off of God and focuses rather on oneself and looks at the dark rather than the light. Seek first the kingdom of God and all shall be added onto you.
 
Good for you in spending time doing His work. When you are in His work, there is no time for spending time in sin.
 
Yes, forgiving yourself is good. Otherwise you'll fall back into old bad habits and be forever beating up on yourself. Christ paid the penalty for our sins and has forgiven you. There is no need to beat up on yourself when you are in His eyes already forgiven and made as white as snow. He does not see you as a sinner, but as His son washed in the blood of the lamb, pure and holy. So why should you view yourself in dirty rags?

Andre





Live for Him!

The more and more you live for Him, and the more and more you give to Him all your troubles, worries, hangups, temptations etc, the less the weight of shame you will feel. As you live more and more for Him, the cemented feet will gradually soften as His shed tears of love will soften the cement and release you from bondage.
 
Take care and have a great and Godly week.

Andre

Keep Your Eyes on the Goal!

Paul wrote that he kept his eyes towards the goal. That goal was the crown of life he would receive when he went to heaven. Jesus came and kept his eye towards the goal of going to the cross for you and me. He was tempted often to stray from that goal. But He would not let the enemy gain the upper hand. And He won the victory for us. Yes, through Him, we have the victory, the strength.
 
Keep your eyes on that goal as in a race. In a race you look at ther finish line. Nothing else is in view and thus you are not distracted from that finish line. Do the same with your struggles. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your victor, so that you will not be distracted, nor be not tempted.
 
Have another great week.

Andre

Keep Your Eyes Focussed on Things Above

It is hard to keep our eyes focussed on things above, Col 3:2-3.  We are programmed to look and see and desire on the good things, but sin has us seeking and desiring the wrong things.
 
When I was training to become a bus driver, the instructor told us that it takes 21 days to develop new habits and 21 days to stop bad habits. The same goes with the eyes. If we train our mind to stop looking at things that we should not, and train instead to look at things above, then before long you will find that you are seeing with the eyes of God, and not with the eyes of sinful man.
 
Develop you heart to seek the ways of God rather than following after the ways of man.  Prov. 14:12 tells us "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (King James Version)

Far better to, "...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33. King James Version)
 
Go forth this week my friend, seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, setting your mind on things above and not on the things below.
 
Have a great and Godly week.
 
Andre





Let God

Have a look in the mirror folks and look deep, look hard. Do you wonder perhaps why you still struggle with the same old, same old? Could it be that in your stubborn pride you are wanting to change in your own way, in your own time without God? Are you perhaps walking about with pride, like a peacock proudly displaying your feathers, figuring you can do it on your own?
 
Maybe it is time to fold your feathers, and let God. Be blessed, be encouraged, and let God.
 
Andre



Tempations

Unfortunately temptations will always be with us on the plane until the Lord takes us home. We must always be on our guard. The evil one is always waiting in the wings to step in and catch us off guard. As a soldier would never dare to walk out into the battle without his protective gear, we too need to be always well armoured. Prayer and His Word are our greatest armour. Never leave home without it.
 
Have a great and awesome God filled week
 
Andre

What can you do when you fall?

What can you you do when you fall, you ask? When as a child when you were learning to ride a bike, you likely fell a few times, right! But did you give up? No you got back on and kept at it till you no longer fell. Likewise while you are on this journey with Jesus, there will be falls along the way. Will you give up and stay down? No, I did not think so. Get back up and keep trying to stay pure relying on God, the Son and the Holy Spirit to be your guide, to be your support to help you from falling. And when we do fall, remember 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)

I understand feeling shame when we fall, but do not let the tempter keep you on the ground by making you feel down and convicting you of sin, by beating yourself up when you fall. Get back up and remember and confess and He will forgive.

Have a good and godly week, for what lasting value is a good week, if it is not also a godly week.

André

 

 

Crucified

Hello Guys

I've been meaning to share this with you for some time now but I figured that I've already said so much, I didn't want to overload you.

This is something that totally transformed my life and has made my walk with the Lord so much better. Ever since I was taught this truth, I have gained new insight and victory into areas I found problematic in my life.

As you may have noticed, I'm not perticulary keen on focusing exclusively on sexuality. Such an approach I believe gives the impression that we're one dimensional (which we are not!) and it also alienates us from the rest of believers. I shall therefore present this teaching not just in an effort to help you understand your struggles with sexuality better, but that you may also understand other areas of your self better.

Colossians 3:2-3 says: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.“ (King James Version)

I don't know about you, but I never really understood this passage of Scripture and all the others that also speak of believers dying very well. I understood the atonement of Yeshua on the Cross for our sins and ressurection well, but I never understood when the apostle Paul refered to himself as being dead, especially when he says he's been crucified with Christ. Being very analytical person by nature, I attempted many times to solve this mystery on my own, but without much success. So I waited on God to shed some light on the subject.

Was I blown out of my socks when I was explained the meaning of this concept. Dr. Ed Murphy, in his book, Handbook for Spiritual Warfare, explains this glorious truth so beautifully. For the first time I realized what Scripture meant when it says believers died.

So who died? The old man. "But if the old man is dead," you ask, "How come I still have sinful desires of all sorts?" Here comes the best part. When you expereinced new birth, the old you (in my case the old Adam) was supernaturally crucified with Christ on the cross. If you think I'm exaggerating, read Romans 6:5-7:

"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." (King James Version)

This is the beauty of the gospel. Old Tom, old John, old Henry, etc., have all been crucified. They no longer exist. They're all dead. The sexually broken man that you once were, was killed and done away with the minute you accepted Him as your Saviour, when you first believed. Even if you backslidded, the old self was not resurected.
(I shall explain this later as we go along.) That's not all, Scripture tells that when this old man was destroyed, `you received a new man or new nature `was given to you. Scripture says that you are now “born of God”. (1 John 5:18-19. King James Version).

"But I still have so much sinful desires!" you say. "My flesh is very much still alive. My battles with pornography, sexuality is still very much alive and real. Does it now then mean that I have not been crucified with Christ and therefore not born again?" Absolutely not. If you trust in Jesus as your Saviour, you are born again. "But how come the sinful desires of my flesh are yet still alive?"

If you read Romans 6:5-7 again, you'll see the Bible talks about your old self that was crucified and not your physical flesh. (Rom. 7:14-23) The two are totally different from one another.Your flesh on the other hand is still very much alive. The old self is that Adamic cursed wicked part of you that could do nothing else but sin. The way I see it, this old self was personified just as the new man is personified, just as the flesh is personified (Gal.5:19-21). It therefore wasn't a force or some impersonal energy but a person with will, desires and mind. It's difficult to understand but nevertheless fascinating.

Neil T Anderson explains our new state of affairs so wisely. He writes that the flesh is the tendency that is in every person and pushes us to act independent of God and to focus only on ourselves. This is how an unsaved person acts – worshipping the creature more than the Creator. However, those who are born again are different. Their old self died and their new self lives now. As we might have spent years far away fro God, secular experiences shaped our brain with things that are not of God. So even though our old self is dead, our flesh still works against God – or independent from God. (Neil T. Anderson, “The Bondage Breaker”. Harvest House Publ. ISBN-10: 0736918140. ISBN-13: 978-0736918145):


"The flesh is the tendency within each person to operate independant of God and to center his interest on himself. An unsaved person functions totally in the flesh (Romans 8:7-8), worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25) When you are born again, your old self died and your new self came to life...{but} during the years you spent separated from God, your worldly experiences thorougly programmed your brain with thought patterns, memory traces, responces and habits which are alien to God. So even
though your OLD SKIPPER* is gone, your flesh remains in opposition to God as a preprogrammed propensity from sin, which is living independant of God" Bondage Braker (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 199) pg 79-80 *-capital letters MINE

When one reads this you begin to understand why unsaved people can do nothing but sin. They have a corrupted "person" that is riding on the back of the flesh- that is also unredeemable. However, we who have received a new nature, through new birth, who desire the things of the Spirit, no longer have an excuse to continue in sin. That is why 1 John 3:9 says:

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (King James Version)

We were once utter slaves to sin, but now we've been giving a new man that can do and choose the things of God. Our old selves couldn't.
Do you see the implications? We no longer have to battle with the old man. He's dead. We still however have to battle with our flesh, that is totally corrupt. Furthermore, our brains must also be given new software becuase it still runs on old evil software. This is where sanctification comes in. Please listen to me. I don't care what any body says, sanctification is not an easy process! I get so fed up when I hear well known 'Christian' speakers tell people that they can change their lives instantly. They give you a formulas and principles (that usually involves money) and guarantee that you will be healed, you will be blessed, you will receive a break through.

Thirty years ago David Martin Lloyed-Jones in his book “The Christian Warfare: An Exposition of Ephesians 6:10 to 13” (Baker Pub Group. ISBN-10: 0801055741. ISBN-13: 978-0801055744), wrote about cults offering an instant blessing. This short cut allows them to win adherents. There is no growth concerning grace or growth in the knowlegde of the Lord. Also no mentioning of salvation with fear and trembling. You go to perfection in an instant. No problems, no struggle, no difficulties:

"Another great characteristic of the cults is that they offer you a cure, the blessing all at once. It is the short cut method always; that is why it wins adherents...the cults do not talk about 'growth in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord'; they do not talk about work out your salvation with fear and trembling'; and there is no mortification of the body and of the flesh. It is immediate arrival at perfection; and all you have to do is to keep you there. All problems have gone, there is no struggle left, there is no difficulty to solve; it has all been done and done at once. Short cuts!"


I mention this because I know false expectations lead to discouragement and discouragement ultimately, if not dealt with correctly, will lead to backslidding. It is my prayer that none of you will ever backslide into your old lives. That is why I want you to know that your road to freedom will be difficult and will involve actve fighting, struggling and resisting on your part. Better know what you're up against than to be caught off guard. I urge you not listen to the fools who promise you quick rememdies through useless formulas and vain Christain pop psychology. Forgive me if I sound harsh but when I see so many people being led astray by mere salesmanship, my blood begins to boil.

Even though our walk may not an easy walk, it is a blessed walk nevertheless. From my own experience, I can truly say that it's been worth the while. It's been extremely difficult at times but also glorious! Christ has really given us life and life in abundance. He has also given us the tools to fight for our inheritance. Where we once didn't have a chance against sexual struggles in our former states (before salvation), we now can supernaturally voluntary choose the things of the Spirit through our new man/nature.

If Satan has been condemming you about your recent failures by telling you that you arn't really a Christian because of your weak state, listen to this. If you thought you're still the same old perverted little dude you were before you got saved, listen to this. If you still despise yourself for the things you allowed yourself to do, listen to this wonderful timeless advice by Dr. D.M. Lloyed-Jones. He talks about the truth that as Christians we are already saved, We have already died with Jesus. We are already ‘in Christ’. We have been crucified with Him. This cruxifixion is not something we have to do. It happened already! We have been crucified – one and for ever! And as we died with Christ, we have also been risen with Him. That’s why satan attacks us so that we loose our confidence in our complete security in Jesus.


This is the finest tonic for any weak Christian....Remind yourself of the truth about yourself as a Christian, that you are already saved, that you ahve already died with Christ, that you are 'in Christ', that you will never be more saved spiritually than you are now. If you are a Christian at all, you are 'in Christ', you have been crucified with Him. Thus to be crucified is is not something you have to do, 'having believed'. Romans tell us what has happened to us, not what should happen to us. 'You have been'- it is in the aorist tense. 'Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Christ' once and for ever. Remind yourself of that . Remind yourself that, as you died with Christ, you have also risen with Him, that you are seated with Him in the heavenly places, and that the devil is therefore attacking you in order to shake your confidence in your complete security in Christ." Dr. D.M Lloyed-Jones


Paul says, "And such were some of you." (1 Cor. 6:9-11. King James Version. Emphasis added).

Begin to realize that you have been given a new nature that genuinely wants to do the things of the Spirit. Your old self is dead. Even though you may still do things that may be wrong, you can and never will be the sinner you used to be. Relapses are merely a sign of a need of sanctification (removing old programs that your old skipper installed) and not salvation. If you are also truly born again, you will eventually repent of a certain sin. Why? Because you've been given the ability to repent through the Spirit that now lives in you that empowers you.
We really have no excuses not to live holy lives.

May God open the understanding of our hearts and continue to lead us to freedom from all bondages.

Grace to you all

André




Give Him Your All!

We on our own do not have the strength to give our all to God once for all, so daily we need to give our all to Him, to give up what we sin in daily, surrender all to Him daily. Just as we need daily nurturing with food we need also to surrender all to Him daily.
 
André

Kids Korner: TEMPTATION -HOW DOES SATAN TEMPT AND DECEIVE US?


Today we are going to talk about a big word. TEMPTATION

What is temptation? It is something that makes you want to do something that maybe you would not normally do. Temptation from God’s point of view is something that may draw you to do something that is wrong, sinful.

Another word that we can use to demonstrate what temptation is like is deception. To deceive someone is to cause someone to believe something that is not true and to lead them to maybe do something that they would not normally do.
For example here is a live animal trap. If you put sunflower seeds over here on the other side of the trap mechanism, when a squirrel comes inside the cage and steps on the tripping mechanism, the door will close trapping the squirrel inside. The squirrel of course thought it was safe to go in, but he was deceived.

Another example of being tempted, being deceived is when you going fishing. Who can explain to me why fishing is like temptation or being deceived. The lure at the end of your line looks like a small fish to another larger fish, which of course looks like food to him. The fish cannot see the fishing line attached to the lure; otherwise he may not be so easily fooled. The lure looks like something good to eat to the fish, and of course he does not realize the danger that he is in. He does not realize that if he takes a bite of the lure, that he is about to be deceived.

Did you know that there is someone out there who is trying to tempt and deceive you in many ways every day? Satan, also known as the devil, scripture tells us in 1 Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (KJV)

This verse is telling us to be careful, be on your guard, because the devil is very wise and he knows your weaknesses, and he knows how to use your weaknesses to his advantage, so that he can deceive you and tempt you to sin.

Did you know that Satan has many names describing what he is like in the Bible? Some of those names are liar, thief, murder, and deceiver, just to name a few.

Why does Satan tempt and deceive us? He hates us because He hates God. Way back in the Old Testament in Isaiah chapter 14:12-14 we are told that Satan said in heart:

“13 For you have said in your hear
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’” (NKJV)

This may be hard for you to understand, but what Satan is basically saying and wanting is to kick God off of His throne, he wants to be head hancho, he wants to be numero uno, he wants to be worshipped as God.

But we all know that there is only one true God and there will always only be one true God who is the maker and creator of all things, who is in control of all things. Would you agree?

And so, since Satan knows that his time on the world is drawing closer to an end, he is doing everything in his power to deceive and cause as many as he can to turn away from God. The more people that Satan can get to disobey God, the more he can get to follow him into hell. And that is why Satan is walking about as a roaring lion seeking as many as he can destroy and take to hell with him.

Now, there are a few ways that Satan works to tempt and deceive people. He has been using these very same tricks since the time of Adam and Eve way back in Genesis chapter three. Most of you know the story of Adam and Eve. What happened there?

Basically what happened was that after God made Adam and Eve, He put them what is called the Garden of Eden. There was a very beautiful place with lots of fruit and vegetables to eat. God as you remember told them they could eat anything they wanted in the garden except the fruit from one particular tree. Gen, 2:15-17

We are often as kids told that it was an apple tree. It may have been, we do not know that for sure. We are not told exactly what kind of a tree it was.

It was a test by God to see if they would remain faithful to God and obey Him. God of course knew what they would do, but He gave them the chance to obey Him by their own choice, not like robots, or computers who do not make their own choice, but only do what they are programmed to do.

When they ate the fruit that God had told them not to eat, they had sinned. They had disobeyed God. Consequently, because they had sinned, they were doomed to die both spiritually and physically. God had created man to live forever, and so we have a spirit that can never die.

When you die physically, your spirit will live forever. And you will either go to live forever in heaven or in hell. There are no other choices, and neither do you make a choice except whether you will obey God or not, and whether you will believe the gospel message or not.

Up to that point, Adam and Eve had no idea what it was to die physically. Sadly that is part of the punishment for sinning.



Let us read Genesis. 3:1-7 and let’s see exactly how Satan tempted and deceived Adam and Eve.

“1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (NKJV)

First of all, who is the “Serpent”. It is Satan taken on the disguise of a snake. This may sound weird to us, because who has ever heard of a snake talking. But with God all things are possible, and God can and will often do what to us is very weird, so why would God not also allow Satan to disguise himself as a talking snake.

Notice the very first thing Satan does in verse # 1. Satan says; “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (NKJV)

If we look back in Genesis 2:15, 17 we see exactly what God did say.

God said; ”15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”.” (NKJV)

So they thought to themselves, well, perhaps God maybe did not exactly say that we should not eat of any of the trees in the garden Satan had placed in their minds some doubt of what God had actually said.

Eve in response added another idea to God’s original command. She said that we should also maybe not even touch of the forbidden tee. God did not say that they could not touch it. There is of course a difference between touching and eating.

Satan is the master of confusing what is truth, and what is a lie. He loves to cast a shadow of doubt in our minds of what God says and what He is really like. What Satan was also doing was to plant in their minds that perhaps God was withholding good things from them. He was not allowing them to enjoy good things which he had created. Satan was making them think that maybe God was not as good and as kind as they maybe believed He was.

Then Satan tells an outright lie when he says that you will surely not die if you eat the fruit this particular tree.

We all now know, that if you disobey God, it does indeed lead to death, both spiritually and physically if you continue to sin and do not believe the gospel message.

Spiritual death is be separated from God when you sin. Because God is perfect in every way, He cannot be near to sin. So when you sin, He has to walk away from you until you confess your sins and ask to be forgiven of your sins.

Satan next tells another lie when he says that if they eat this fruit it will make you wise, very, very smart. It would also make them know the difference between what is good and evil, which was not a lie, because they were about to learn exactly what is the difference between good and evil. Evil is basically anything done that is against the rules of God.

Up to this point, Adam and Eve had never sinned, and there was no one else in the world, so they did not know what sin was until they had sinned.

What has happened, they have been deceived. They were led into a trap. They were led to believe lies.

They were led into a trap believing that what they thought was true, was not true at all.

Satan firstly made them want something that looked really good, that was not really good for them. T.V. commercials and magazines do this all the time. They make things that are not good for us look like something really good, so we naturally want it.

Satan tries to make you do things that are not very good for you. He wants you to do things which God says you should not do. For example, Satan might tempt you to cheat in an exam, to lie, to steal etc.

Satan also tries to make you to be full of pride. For example he may tempt you to think you are better at things than other people, and so therefore you look down at others as if they are nothing compared to you. People who are really good at math for example maybe will think that they are really smart, and anyone who is not really good at math they will think is stupid. This is called pride. And God says pride is a sin.

These are the basic ways in which Satan has tempted and deceived people to sin since the time of Adam till today. He even tried to tempt and deceive Jesus in the desert. Ever since then mankind has been plagued with sickness, sorrow, suffering, fear, guilt, and death. All this is the result of falling into sin.


Rom 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, …” (KJV)

In other words, because we do what is wrong according to the rules of God, our punishment is death, both spiritually and physically.

So, is it possible to defeat Satan?

Let us briefly read Ephesians 6:10-18 which reads:
   
“10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (KJV)

The ways to defeat Satan and save yourself from falling into temptation is to first of all believe the gospel message. That is, that we are all sinners and we all deserve the punishment of sin which is death both physically and spiritually. (To be separated from God eternally in hell)

The second part of the gospel message is that we need to really believe the truth that Jesus actually was born of a virgin, lived and died on a cross, to pay the punishment for your own sins, to save you from eternal punishment of living in hell forever instead of with Him forever.

Another way to defeat Satan and to be free from sin is to be reading the Bible every day, believe what you read, study it, memorize much of it, study it, learn what God is trying to tell you when you read, it, and to spend lots of time thinking about what you have learned.

Thirdly, when you are tempted to sin, you can pray to God, tell Him what is going on, and He will help to take that temptation away from you. After all, when you are praying to God, you are no longer thinking about the temptation, because you are talking to God. You are no longer thinking about the temptation, and thus you will not be tempted to sin.

How does sin happen? Sin first happens when you see or think about something that you either should not have or do. That is called temptation. Temptation itself is not a sin, after all Jesus was perfect, He never sinned, and He was tempted by Satan in the desert. But, sin happens when you go and do what you were tempted to do, to go and do what you know is wrong.

The Bible also tells us to “resist the devil.” James 4:7 (KJV)
And; “Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27 (KJV)
In other words if you are tempted to sin, say no and run away from it.

For example, if one of your school mates asks you to go to the store with him and he asks you to distract t the guy at the cash register while he steals something, say no way first of all and run away. Do this even if he yells and threatens to beat you up if you do not help him.

On our own, we do not have the strength to resist and defeat Satan. He is very, very smart, and is far stronger than we will ever be on earth. But with God on our side, if we are obeying Him, reading and studying His words to us in the Bible, memorizing His words and spending lots of quality time with Him in prayer, then we are able to flee temptation and resist the devils deceptions and temptations.

Doing all of this reminds me of when our work in the forest cutting down trees for firewood. When I do that I put on a hard hat which protects my head from falling branches, the screen in front of my face protects my face from flying wood chips, and the ear muffs protects my ears from the loud noise from the chain saw. All of this together is like putting on the helmet of salvation. I am learning from God what He wants me to learn and to do every day of my life. It protects me from hearing, watching and listening to things which are harmful to me, which are not wise words of wisdom from God.

When I put on these chaps, and boots, they are protecting my legs and my feet from the danger of my chain saw ripping into my legs and feet. If I am walking, and doing what God wants me to do, then I am not walking and doing what Satan wants me to do. If my legs and feet are protected and doing what is right with God, then I am not going and doing what Satan wants me to do which is very, very wrong.

If you are playing most any sport, or about to go to war, it is very smart to study, and learn what the enemy is like, how they think, and how they will react to different situations. Likewise, Satan is our enemy. Therefore it is wise for us to study and learn how he acts and reacts to situations. That is why it is very, very smart for us, to read the Bible every day, study it, memorize it and pray to God at all times for all things.

Are you?

André

The Choice is Yours (A Response to an Email from a Member of an Online Group)

I wish there was a fairly safe answer that was as easy as rubbing two sticks together. All the advice in the world is great, all the theology and scripture is good. But the bottom line is though, yes, the battle belongs to the Lord, you also have to make wise choices. If your mom tells you to look both way when you cross the road when you are a child, she tells you so because it is a wise and safe practice, and because she loves you, and does not want to see you get hurt. When your grandpa tells you not to touch the sides of a hot wood stove, he tells you because he does not want you to get hurt. When a pastor tells you what the scripture says in regard to any particular sin, he tells you because these are the words of God. If God tells you not to do a certain thing, He tells you firstly because that thing may be a sin, but He also tells you because He is your creator. As your creator He is much like the maker of a motor cycle builder who knows what is the best way to care and maintain your motor cycle. If you do not heed the advices and instructions of the manual given when you buy the bike, you can be sure that the bike will fall into disrepair and will not last very long. 

So the bottom line is to take the wise advices, instructions from wherever they come and obey. The key word in this sentence is obey. So when we obey, we are spared the embarrassments, the hurts and pains that will certainly occur when you do not obey. If you try to cross the road without watching both ways, the chances are you may get seriously hurt and or killed. When gram-pa says do not touch, and you obey, you are spared the pain and the scars of not listening to wise advice. If your pastor and God says no, and you obey you do not face the pain, the embarrassment, the shame, the heartaches, and the potential of death and eternity in hell, far away from the presence of God.

As Joshua said when he was given leadership over the Israeli people as he lead them into the promised land, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 King James Version). In other words, he chose to trust and obey and follow after God. 

So the final word is what will you do? Will you trust and obey and be saved from all the above pains etc. or will you ignore, do your own thing and suffer.

The final choice is yours.

You do not need to succumb to the temptations of Satan or any other. There is no sin in the hearing of temptations. After all, Jesus was also tempted in all ways, but he did not succumb and instead obeyed the Father. But when we are tempted we can not listen and run.

The choice is yours.

André