Monday, June 10, 2013

To Cry Out or Not To Cry Out

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
James 1:13-15  (NKJ)

According to the above scriptures, when we are tempted God doesn't do the tempting Himself because it is not in His divine nature to cause someone to sin.  He will divinely permit trials to come into our lives to test us and reveal what truly is in our hearts.  Actually, He already knows what's in our hearts;  the testing is so that we might see it as well.  These scriptures also make it very clear the destructive path we follow when we choose to sin.  The problem I run into is sometimes I choose to have what I want, when I want it, the way I want it.
I need to lose a few pounds.  Okay, the truth is I need to lose more than just a few - more like twenty-five pounds to be exact.  If I find myself hanging around the kitchen opening the freezer where the ice cream is stashed, I'm in a lot of trouble.  I'm setting myself up to eat what I shouldn't eat.  That includes hanging around the cookie jar and the cupboard where the chips are screaming my name.  Can anyone else relate to this?
It's important that I don't deceive myself.  Father God won't physically walk into my kitchen and slam the freezer or cupboard doors for me nor will He put a lock on the cookie jar.  Sometimes I feel like I don't have a choice where the food is concerned.  However, I do have a choice whether or not I cry out to God.
God does not tempt me to set me up to fail.  He is for me and He desires that I live life to its fullest.  The incredible thing is when I do choose to cry out to the Lord, He promises to help me flee from the temptation; therefore, making a way of escape by becoming my strength in time of weakness (see 1 Cor. 10:13 and 2 Cor. 12:9).

Application of God's Word:

1.  Can you relate to being tempted?

2.  Maybe your weakness isn't food.  What is one thing which causes you to lose self-control?

3.  In the midst of trials and temptation God has promised to give us wisdom, if we ask Him for it (James 1:5).  For me that would mean knowing to stay out of the kitchen when I don't need to be in there.  It also means knowing when to cry out to Lord for His strength and not to try attempt to fight the temptation in my own strength.

4.  What are ways God can help you to know how to handle a particular temptation?  Be specific about how He can help you to make wiser choices.

Personal Matters:   

Sometimes it's not about what I'm eating as much as it is about what's eating me.  I can make all the vows I want about not eating that half gallon of Rocky Road ice cream, but unless God in me is working in me, my good intentions and resolve will come to naught.  The progression of sin in James 1:13-15 is kind of depressing BUT I DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW THAT PATH.  In the flesh, I may not have power over the ice cream but I do have the power to choose to cry out to the Lord knowing He will provide a way of escape.  Every time. 

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