I think I’ll have one more bowl of ice cream. This traffic is bad. I’m going to go faster to get around it. Price check! Are you serious? I’ve already been in this line for 5 minutes! The government has enough money. It won’t hurt anybody If I don’t claim this. I’m going to call them up and give them a piece of my mind! Do any of these statements sound familiar? They certainly do to me. I could go on and on about the temptations we face every day. Some of them are so common to us, we don’t even realize they have us on a leash! We are literally held captive by temptations. This should not be!
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. (John 8:36 NLT). If you are a follower of Christ, He most certainly has set you free! We face the temptation monster every day. Some days we resist, other days we fail miserably. But rest assured, Jesus is still working in you to bring about change. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 NLT) This is wonderful news! Jesus went right everywhere we have or will ever go wrong. He was tempted just like us but He never failed. Not once! Now He has handed you His trophy of righteousness as if you won the race yourself. That absolutely blows my mind! He did it for us out of love. He knew we couldn’t, so He did! He took all of humanity’s failures and nailed them to a cross. The penalty for our sins is paid in full. However, we still live in this world. The Father still wants us to be more like Jesus so we can represent Him well.
So we take our freedom everywhere we go and yet temptation still whispers. You pray. You reason. You go through all the motions but this flesh we live in seems to crave the very things that crucified our Savior. It’s crazy! You know instinctively what you should and should not do but your flesh and your heart are at war! The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT) Again, more excellent news! Take your temptations straight to Jesus. We’ve already established that He completely understands. He’s been there. He knows how difficult it is. He will, according to the scripture, show you a way out. He’s literally praying to the Father for you!
We think to ourselves “If I were just stronger. If I knew more scripture. If I was where I was supposed to be etc…”. No! No! No! Take your eyes off of yourself. It’s not about what you can and can’t do. It’s about what He did! Stay focused on Jesus. He’s the perfect One. He gives you supernatural strength that you don’t have on your own. And through these trials, He builds your spiritual muscles. Eventually, you won’t be dealing with the same things you’re dealing with now and you’ll be a lot closer to Jesus! Don’t run from Him because you’re flawed and the enemy wants you to feel humiliated. Run to Him with your issues. He deeply wants to help you. His love is constant. It’s not performance based. He can’t love you any more or any less based on your behavior. His love is always constant and perfect. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NLT) He doesn’t change. We do.
The apostle Paul dealt with temptations pretty openly. He was a devoted man of God who basically wrote the majority of the New Testament. God used him mightily and yet he so understood his own frailty. So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. (Romans 7:14-15 NLT) I definitely think we can all relate to this very real struggle. I’m glad God allowed him to lay it out there for us so we don’t feel so isolated. Everyone deals with temptations. They have to be dealt with, though. Jesus is the answer! He’s the only One with the perfect solution.
So, in closing, I would like to challenge you to take your struggles to Jesus. You will grow stronger in your relationship with Him and He will grow you up spiritually through these battles that you despise. The enemy wants to tempt you into running away. Oh yes, the lies will come. The adversary does not want you to get victory in certain areas of your life. That brings more glory to God. Jesus is cheering you on and has already paid your penalty in full. Run to Jesus! I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NLT)
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband, Robby and cat, Harold.