Stop Flirting, Start Running

We never expect our actions to catch up, but they always do.  Character is much easier kept than recovered.   Thomas Paine
This weekend Ben talked about how we need to stop FLIRTING with TEMPTATION and start following GOD’S PATH. As soon as we give ourselves permission to cross a line we know we shouldn’t, we start to deceive ourselves. Have you ever considered what temptation looks like? Think of it like this—temptation builds like a balloon filling with air and when we feel the balloon can’t take any more, we either let...
it loose or it’s released out of our hands from all the pressure. But what happens when you let go of a full balloon? It flies around, zipping back and forth, up and down, and bangs against everything in its path until the air is gone and the balloon drops to the floor!

Temptation starts out the same way. It’s just one small thing (like one small breath into the balloon). We got it, it’s under control. But then it’s another and another and another, and the pressure starts to build. Pretty soon, we’re in so deep and it all becomes too much, and we can end up crushing relationships, careers and even lives. But it doesn’t have to be like that. With God, we can win the day-to-day character battles.

First, we can choose to be self-led by using what Myers calls three-second windows. He writes that in the midst of every temptation, there is a moment when your emotions are at their peak and giving in seems like the only thing to do. But, if we take just three seconds to think through the actions, issues or problems that our reaction might cause, we can run the path God’s way instead, and start building our character within. Another practical way to stop flirting with temptation and start running God’s path is to pay first and play later. In other words, do the work that needs to get done first. When we don’t, we’re a slave to what should have been done first, or we lose sight of what needs to come first, and lose every time. Instead, paying first always benefits because it opens up the opportunity for God’s blessing in your life.

  READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
  1. Oftentimes when things go wrong, people blame God for their misfortune. Although God has the power to change our circumstances, James tells us that God never causes temptation. God is good, therefore He does not tempt us to do bad.
Question: Where does temptation come from?
James 1:13-14 (New Living Translation)

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

 Answer:

  1. We are all born with a sinful nature. When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, but it is still our choice to decide to follow our sinful nature or the Holy Spirit.
Question: Why do those under the control of their sinful nature never please God?
Romans 8:6-8 (New Living Translation)

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads you to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

Answer:

  1. Even if you have read Galatians 5:22-24 before, take time to read through the fruit of the Spirit slowly, carefully. Unlike spiritual gifts, the fruit of the Spirit are attributes we should all have in our lives. It can be tempting to pick and choose which ones come easier for us, but the Holy Spirit produces all of these fruits.
Question: What makes the fruits produced by the Holy Spirit different from the passions and desires of people’s sinful nature?
Galatians 5:22-24 (New Living Translation)

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Answer:

LIVE… What will you do now?

What is your primary area of temptation?


What might change in your life if you were able to consistently stop giving into it?

Reread the list of the fruit of the Spirit. Which ones come easy to you? Which ones don’t come easy to you? Think about how you can develop your character by working on ALL of the fruit of the Spirit.

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Pray to win your daily character battles. Thank God for His willingness to help you overcome any of the temptations that you are dealing with in life. Pray for wisdom and clarity on how to best follow in God’s path and plan for your life.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

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