Moment by Moment
I sit here on this late June evening, listening to the peaceful sound of raindrops falling on the roof. This is Maine so even though it is June, my upstairs window is opened and it is very pleasant. The busy world rushes by on a nearby street. On such a pleasant evening, trouble seems a million miles away… yet at my very fingertips is a whole world of trouble. We choose moment by moment, don’t we?
Our last day in this passage:
James 1:13-15 NIV
“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me’. For God cannot not be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
In John 10:10, John tells us that Satan is out to destroy us. How? By enticing us into sin.
He cannot take our salvation, but he can lure us into sin, destroy our testimonies and make us miserable. The last thing Satan wants is for God to be glorified through us. However, when it comes to sin, he can only do what we allow him to do in our lives. We can say “NO!”
The Power of Refusal
We have the power of refusal and that is why we need to be prepared to use it when he waves his bait in our faces. The Holy Spirit can help us refuse. If we attempt to deal with temptation on our own, the enemy will beat us every single time! We are no match for Satan on our own.
Powered for Battle
In Matthew 11, Jesus says we need to get into His yoke with Him. If we are being tempted but we are in the yoke with Jesus, He can and will empower us to say “no!” to temptation. In doing so, we will overcome Satan. The key is to be in Christ’s yoke with Him.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Safe in His Yoke
We talked a bit in a past entry about being in the yoke with Jesus. That is where He trains us but as you see He also carries the bulk of the load as well. He helps us deal with life, its struggles and temptations as He teaches us. The wonderful thing about being in His yoke with Him is that we never learn so much that we are ready to leave it and go out on our own.
The scariest day on your first job is the day your trainer says, “You are now trained. Take that person’s order.” Do you remember that day or one similar?
Live Life Strong
You never have to face that day with Jesus. He will always be there, in the yoke with you, giving you strength to do what He calls you to do. So many times in the Bible, being close to Christ is encouraged, even commanded. As Christ followers, it is not something we can do without. We must have a close daily relationship with Him to live a life strong and free of sin, paying its high costs. He gives us strength not to take that second look. He gives us the strength to reject it as soon as it flashes through our minds.
An Oak Tree in My Living Room
This is a ridiculous analogy, but stick with me, please 🙂
Say one of the oak boards in my living room floor decides to sprout. (Yep – ridiculous!) At first, it is just a little nub on the board, hardly even noticeable. But, then it begins to sprout leaves! Now if I ignore this thing, I am going to have an oak tree in my living room. That would be a little rustic for my decor. It would not fit in well at all.
How much more than that does alcoholism, an adulterous affair, habitual lying, etc fit into a Christian’s life? Not well at all, right?
Sadly, I know precious believers who are deep in the throes of sin, right now, and they are not sure how they got there. It began with that second look and progressed to bondage and devastation. Oh, friends, may we save ourselves and our loved ones so much pain and trouble and not even go there. Safe in the yoke with Christ, we do not have to.
Thank You, Lord, for taking such good care of us! Thank You that You really do have our safety and strength in Your hands. Help us, please, to walk closely with You today and every day. Please make us strong in Your strength and keep us safe in Your yoke. Teach us to be holy and help us to glorify You. Make us what You want us to be and please make us completely Yours. In Jesus holy, beautiful name. Amen.
Go Deeper Today:
2 Peter 1:3-11