And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, (Matthew 14:23 ESV)
Day 8- Temptations
Even though this is a new year, I still battle the same old temptations. What trips me up is probably not what causes you issues. But we all have them- besetting sins, addictions, actions we want no one else to know we do. No matter how good I think I am at hiding my “stuff” I can never hide it from Jesus.
- Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies! (Psalm 141:4 ESV)
We all need deliverance from evil. That is why Jesus included it in The Lord’s Prayer, in Matthew 6. In order for us to live in 2017 with endurance and productivity, we have to get out from under the burden of these temptations.
- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:13 ESV)
Where are you tempted? You don’t have to tell me, but you do need to be honest with yourself and with the Lord. We live in a day with such easy access to evil; we need the Lord’s help. Jesus also went through temptation. He understands our struggle and is ready to help us.
- For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)
Today, let's identify these burdens we carry. Let's gather them up, expose them to the Light of Jesus, and pursue victory over these clutches of evil.
- Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)
- No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)
The Lord provides us with a way of escape! He is always ready to point us to the way out. He has solutions for addictions, bad habits, wrong relationships, poor stewardship, over spending, selfishness, or any other temptation.
- For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
What would it feel like to be free? The only way to find out is to drag that temptation straight to the only place you can defeat it- the cross of Jesus.
Day 8 Prayer
- Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13 ESV)
I come before You, wanting to be honest, maybe more honest than I have ever been. I want to call sin what You call sin.
But my problem Lord, is that I LIKE what I know is not best for me. If I didn’t enjoy it, at least in the moment, it wouldn’t be a temptation. I want to withstand the temptation instead of being overtaken by sin. I can only do that in Your strength and by Your power.
I don’t want to continue to give in to this temptation. This year I am asking You to break the bonds that hold me. Lord, I ask You to help me see the way of escape that You promised. Instead of giving in to my inclination, I want to run to Your escape hatch.
Please teach me also how to use Your armor. Thank You for providing offensive weapons, and please train me to use them well this year, so I fight wrong inclinations instead of giving into them.
Lord, please help me to seek Your truth, rather than make excuses.
Lord help me to walk in the light, rather than sin behind closed doors.
Lord, help me to stop lying to myself and call sin, sin. Give me Your perspective on my actions.
Every sin, every temptation, every addiction has already been paid for by Your blood. I confess my sin and ask you to cover it and wash me clean.
Lord, please help me persevere so that 2017 is the year I finally walk in freedom, light, and openness.
- Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. (Proverbs 4:25-26 ESV)
I pray life, health, freedom, and joy for you in 2017. If you would like me to pray for you just drop a line in the comments below. Or if you know someone who struggles with temptation or addiction please share this with them.
- Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9 ESV)
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