Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The three pitfalls every Christian must learn to avoid

Hi friends,

Hope you all are doing well. I would just like to share something I was inspired to write based on a message ‘Unmasking the False Self’ that I just listened to . As we grow in our Christian walk, very often the Lord reveals to us areas in our life that we may struggle with and how we can overcome them. Today let us discuss 3 common temptations satan brings to all of us at different times of our life. Jesus, the Son of God was not spared; He faced them too and came out victorious each time. Let’s see what they are and learn from the life of Jesus how to tackle them.

For this study let’s go to Luke 4: 1-13 where we see our Lord Jesus after being baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist is led by the Holy Spirit into a period of solitude, silence and fasting for 40 days. During this time, Jesus was full of the Word and worshipped the Father. This is what gave Him the victory in facing the trials that came.
1)      The Temptation of ACCOMPLISHMENT / WE ARE WHAT WE DO –
      This is a lie of the enemy and a mask that he gives us to adorn. We read that Jesus was hungry as he had not eaten all this time and satan knowing his point of weakness tempts Jesus in this area asking Him to “do” something in order to prove that He was the Son of God. The same temptation comes to us today. That voice that tells us that in order to be something, we have to do something and we are driven to do many things that we may not really want to do and more importantly that God does not want us to do. If we can just rest like Jesus and be secure in the knowledge of our Father’s unconditional love, we will never again fall into this trap of the evil one of doing something just to prove our worth. Instead we will be like Jesus and “do nothing of our own but only what our Father does”- John 5:19 and He will accomplish great and mighty works through us.

2)      The Temptation of ACCUMULATION / WE ARE WHAT WE HAVE-
      The devil took Jesus to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said that all that power, authority and glory would be His in a moment if Jesus would only worship him once. What an irony! All that satan promised to give was already Jesus’! The same temptation comes to us that if we could only have this and that, we would be truly happy. Our perpetually discontented hearts are the breeding ground for satan to tempt us with wealth, power, prestige…etc but if we truly knew our authority in Christ and believed in our loving Father as Jehovah Jireh who is able to provide us with every good thing needed for abundant life here on earth, we would never fall a prey to this temptation that makes us run like rats in the so called rat race of life! We would be satisfied in worshipping the Lord our God for who He is rather than for what He gives and our good Father who loves to bless us, will give us more than our lives can contain. Psalms 84:11 says that “No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.”The blessings of God will actually overtake us, we need not run after anything.- Deu 28:2

3)      The Temptation to seek APPROVAL/ WE ARE WHAT OTHERS THINK WE ARE-
      This lie of satan can be the cause of the biggest bondage in our life. It prevents us from being who we are created to be and from walking into the wonderful destiny that God has already chalked out for us. As long as we fear man and long for their validation, we will never be able to freely do what God is asking us to do. Trying to be popular is a snare because we cannot please God and man at the same time. Another problem is that man is fickle and so keeps changing unlike God who never changes. Even listening to the wrong advice due to approval addiction may actually lead us away from where God wants us to be. Sometimes what the Lord wants us to do may not make sense even to well-meaning folks! If we ever want to do anything dynamic for the Lord, we just need to learn to obey God rather than man. Satan asked Jesus to jump down from the Temple and even quoted the Scriptures (Psa 91:11, 12) to Jesus that God would give His angels charge over Him. But Jesus didn’t fall for this temptation too. He already knew who He was and didn’t need anyone to tell Him that. We read further in that Chapter (Luke 4:22-) that Jesus never cared for the praises of man. He did what He had to do and said what He had to say completely filled with the Holy Spirit. He was compassionate and loving but was never manipulated by anyone. He had a mission and He was constantly in prayer with the Father who empowered Him to fulfill it. We too have a mandate here on earth given to us by our Heavenly Father. Mathew 5:16 reminds us “To be as shining lights so that others may see our good works and give glory to our Father in Heaven.” We do not need the approval of man, we have the stamp of approval of the Father and His Holy Spirit who will teach us all things and help us fulfill our calling here on earth.
      1 Corin 1:22 “God has acknowledged us as His by giving us His Holy Spirit in our hearts as the pledge and foretaste of future blessing.”

Hope this blessed you as it blessed me.

 Take care, God bless!

Sparky Laurie