Friday, September 20, 2013

Temptation - Facing the Dark Side - Part 5

Friday – September 20, 2013

Any tactician will tell you that the best defense against anything is a good offense.  Football players keep the ball away from the other team’s offense by having a good ground game.  Soldiers keep on the attack so the enemy cannot regroup and attack.  Debaters who have a weak point yell. 

Fighting is what an army does when they go into war.  And the war in this case is spiritual; the prize is the territory of your soul, your witness, and in some cases your life.

Make no mistake about spiritual warfare – it has been the premier battleground since day #1.  Do you remember Job?  His story is (historically) the first book of the Bible.  Job’s troubles started when Satan waltzed into heaven and challenged God to a “showdown” – devil vs. man.  The temptations were bigger than most of us have, or will face in life – loss of entire family, fortune, health and reputation.  Job had nothing left!

God allowed that test to take place; (Just why God allowed it is another issue for another day) Job stood firm in his faith….certainly not his strength, because that was long gone…and God won the day.  Job’s life was more blessed at the end than the middle.  The point is, whether you enlisted or not – like it or not – you’re in this war.

Lessons from Jesus and Job

Spiritual Leadership in your life

The best way to beat a superior army is to get more soldiers and become a more superior army.  And even better is to get a general with experience and superior knowledge than the other general.  Listen to what the Bible says about General Jesus:
he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.   Hebrews 4:15b - 16 (NLT)

All those temptations you give into – the ones that have been ruining your life – Jesus has faced them all and whipped them all!  And He is able to give you the strength to overcome them as well.  Form an alliance with the King of Kings.  Be saved.  Invite Him to reign in your life.

Spiritual weapons in your life

The Sword and Spirit are ours.  Memorize God’s Word – hide it deep in your heart.  Make it so familiar to your soul that it comes out whenever you are threatened.

Paul advised Timothy:
But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things.  Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight for the true faith.  Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.   1 Timothy 6:11 - 12 (NLT)

Couple that with apostle Paul’s understanding, that you never fight alone; there is always God, enabling through His grace…
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)

No matter the temptation, the grace of God is able.  To paraphrase the old sermon illustration,
Temptation knocked on my door one day,
I asked Jesus to answer.

There was no one there.

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