Facing Temptation

Far East Broadcasting Company @ blog.febc.org

Gentle Reader,

All of us face temptation, in one way or another, practically every day. There’s really no point in being ashamed of it. After all, it’s not the temptation itself that is the sin, for even Jesus was tempted (Hebrews 4:15). We have a real Enemy who seeks to devour us (1 Peter 5:8), and while he’s not especially creative, recycling the same lies over and over  again, he is relentless. We should expect temptation and we shouldn’t feel bad about ourselves when that thought crosses our minds, for it is part of living on this broken earth. At every moment we have a Lord who is willing and able to help us learn how to take those thoughts captive and destroy them with truth (2 Corinthians 10:5). We do not have to live in defeat and habitual sin.

I’m hanging out with the great people of the Far East Broadcasting Company today. Head on over to read the rest.

My journey to faith. (15)

Satan Doesn’t Play Fair

Gentle Reader,

In fact, he loves to hit us when we’re down.

Satan doesn’t want to just knock us to the ground, you see. He wants to drive us into it. He wants to break our spirits. Coat our minds in lies. Wound our hearts so every beat is unbearably painful. He finds our vulnerable places and grinds his heel into them, laughing as we writhe.

This has been my experience across several weeks. I am simply worn out. Two surgeries, six weeks apart, have done a number on my body. Yes, I am healing, but it’s not a quick healing. It’s not an easy healing. I’m battling insomnia. I can’t seem to get caught up on anything at work. I’m on the “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle of pain and exhaustion.

Makes me crabby. Also heightens my sense of anxiety.

So the stupid Devil has been punching me. He whispers negativity into my soul. Tempts me to despair.

He doesn’t play fair.

Thankfully, God doesn’t play fair, either.

That’s the beautiful thing about being a believer: We who have trusted Christ have the very Spirit of the Living Lord dwelling inside of us. He comes in and makes Himself right at home. Just think about that for a second. God, who made all of creation just by speaking. God, who knows the names of all the stars. God, who exists entirely outside of time and so knows the end from the beginning. God, who got up and walked out of the tomb unaided.

He lives inside of you and me.

Talk about stacking the odds! That old Serpent doesn’t stand a chance. He can keep on punching and kicking. He can get a few licks in. But the nanosecond we cry out, even whisper, for help, he’s done for. The Spirit blasts him out of the scene. The Spirit pours out comfort, guidance and strength upon us so that we can get up and move forward, hand tucked safely in His.

Perhaps you’ve got the taste of dirt in your mouth today, as I do. Perhaps your face is streaked with sweat and tears. Perhaps you’re bloodied and bruised, the shield of your faith knocked to one side. You’re feeling weak, lost, helpless. Dear one, ask. Ask God for help.

He will grant it and then some.

My journey to faith. (15)

31 Days with the Savior: Tempted

19736_27745_5

Gentle Reader,

“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.” – Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

Jesus. He is God.

He is man.

And so He was tempted.

Alone in the wilderness for 40 days. Hungry. Tired. Contemplating the task before Him. Knowing the trial. The pain.

But also the joy.

Seeing you. Seeing me. Knowing that we, amazingly, will be worth all of it.

The Devil came at Jesus at His weakest. He was physically worn down. His mind and His heart strained to stay trained on the Father. He experienced all that it means to be human: the distraction, the exhaustion, the onslaught of fears. He knows precisely what self-discipline means, far more deeply than we.

Because He didn’t give in.

Not once.

Satan threw everything he could at Jesus. Told Him to make Himself some food. Offered Him, the King of Kings, the limited authority that comes with an earthly kingdom for the price of throwing away His own throne. Goaded Him to throw Himself off of the highest point of the temple and make a scene.

Pushed Him to take the easy way out. Avoid all the messiness.

And save nobody.

Jesus didn’t listen.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

My journey to faith. (15)

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.