1 Corinthians 10:12-13
About five years ago I lost several pounds by dieting. During that process, I learned how to make healthier choices when I was hungry and how to plan ahead so I didn't have to resort to unhealthy choices. The first few months were probably the hardest (especially that first week) because all my favorite snacks and sweets were a source of temptation. I had to learn self-control with the goal of being healthier in the end. Our walk with God is similar. This week I have been studying the fact that only God is holy but when we are changed through salvation God wants us to live holy lives. The problem is that just like dieting, we have to learn self-control to learn how to deal with temptations that come our way. The good news is that God helps us! Please read 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.
I can relate to these verses because this weekend I watched my pride be stomped all over by my failings. Just as I was beginning to feel good about an area of weakness and feeling like I had conquered that area, I failed horribly and succumbed to the temptation. I can identify the problem looking back at all of last week and into the weekend. I wasn't spending time with God. I usually start out my day in prayer, and there were some days when I didn't last week and it made me realize all the more how it is God giving me the ability to have victory in my weaknesses and not myself. It is very humbling and a good reminder of how I am completely dependent on my perfect and holy Savior. I cannot live a holy life on my own - it is through Christ that I have the strength to do it. It is also encouraging to remember that God never allows more than what we can handle and will always have a way out of our temptations.
An important thing to remember is the fact that God does not tempt us. Please read James 1:12-18. God is holy and is never tempted nor does He tempt us. It is very humbling to read these verses and see that any temptation we deal with comes from our own thoughts and desires. Ugh! That's not fun to read because it would be so much nicer if we could blame someone else for tempting us. The reality is, we are tempted by the things that we desire, whether its root comes from pride or comfort or anything else. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
But James gives us good news that can help us with our thoughts and temptations. We are told that anything good and perfect comes to us from God. That is a wonderful thought! Philippians 4:8-9 remind us to turn our thoughts to all that is good and if all good things come from God we can be sure that those good thoughts will point us to God. When we are more aware of God's presence, we will be less likely to give in to our temptations. I know if I could focus on God's presence and that He is good and holy, I will want to live a holy life. So, let's focus on whatever is good and perfect and pray for God to show us the way out of our temptations.
Where is your focus?
This post is linked up with Thought Provoking Thursday.