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April 7, 2017

Words of Encouragement | The Struggle of Temptation

Luke 8:12-13 : “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the Word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while and in times of temptation fall away.

  • Temptation: something that tempts, entices, or allures; fact or state of being tempted, esp. to evil
There are many things that tempt us. When we follow through and act upon the temptation—doing things that make us feel really bad after—then at another time, act-out the temptation again. Years ago, I (Nancy) fell to the temptation of lying. I am thankful that the Lord helped me overcome this stronghold by exposing my lies. Before I asked Jesus into my life as my Savior, I never felt the heaviness that He put in my heart when I gave in to those temptations. I didn’t see myself as a bad person. And, my sin nature convinced me that my lies weren’t “that” bad. Only after I asked the Lord to lead my life did I start to feel a heavy spirit when I would lie.  I think Satan thought, “Wow, Nancy isn’t acting like she used to, I am really going to have to increase her temptation to lie.” When I began to understand that the Lord hates lying, I realized how it much hurts my Lord.  I looked up some verses, and there are many, but I am choosing the ones that really affected me. However, as you work on changing those areas in your life that the Lord wants you to change, Satan begins to really tempt you. That is when the fight begins.
  • Psalms 78: 35-37 “They remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer. But they deceived Him with their mouth and lied to Him with their tongue. For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant.”
  • Proverbs 19:9 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will perish.”
  • Colossians 3: 9 “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him.”
By this time, because I had a deep longing to know more-and-more about my Lord and His ways, I started to go to a home Bible study. I really loved the leader, Donnie. I admired her walk with the Lord, so I wanted to learn from her teaching. Off and on she would ask us a question that she wanted an answer for, such as: do you know this author? I did not know them, but the old temptation snuck in and presented itself, it said, “Just lie and say you know them.” I didn’t want to not look like I wasn’t as smart as the rest of the girls so I lied. After the Bible study was over, I got in my car and the Lord placed this HEAVY FEELING on my spirit. I could hardly drive home it was so heavy. I knew right away that I hurt Him and that I gave in to the temptation. I couldn’t wait to get home and call Donnie to ask her to forgive me for lying to her. She asked me how I lied to her. I said “I didn’t know that author and I let everyone believe I did.”  She forgave me and she loved me so much that she made sure I felt fine before we hung up. Did it stop there? NO WAY; it happened three more times! Each time the Lord would place that HEAVY FEELING on my spirit. Each time I had to call her and ask her to forgive me. Boy, did I feel terrible about it. The Lord was not giving up. He wanted me to defeat those temptations. So here I was, at Bible study again and Donnie asks another question, I opened my mouth and out came a lie. Right at that moment, this HEAVY FEELING over took me and in front of all the girls I started sharing that I had lied. Wow, I couldn’t believe that I was saying this out loud. As I was asking them all to forgive me the HEAVY FEELING lifted, and I felt such a peace in my spirit. I knew then, I never wanted to lie again. However, because this is an area that held me captive for so long, I know that temptation from Satan would always be there. Still, since I felt the love of the Lord lift my heavy heart to a peaceful place, I always tell Satan, “That sin is gone. The Lord showed me peace, why would I want to ever come back under your temptation and sin against my Lord?” But I must acknowledge this, temptation is not the sin: yielding to it, is the sin. Jesus was also tempted as we are told in, Hebrews 4:15 (KJV) “For we have not a n 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.” On the other hand, I must also acknowledge that to be tempted and yield is really terrible. Why? Because it draws us away from God and we sure don’t want that to happen. I want to conquer each area that the Lord shows me quickly, so I won’t feel that HEAVY FEELING again. Now, I want to help Him by helping others who need someone like Donnie in their lives. What an excellent job she did being a friend; showing me that she loved me more than ever and making me feel unashamed. I am thankful to God and the Holy Spirit for loving me while I was yet a sinner; caring enough to prompt my heart to leave the temptation and feel His true peace.