temptation

Start Doing These 4 Things to Flourish, Thrive, Be Successful or Fortunate

I don’t know any person who does not want to be blessed, happy, fortunate, and prosperous; however, I know many people who attempt to do so by listening and following ungodly advice.  Eve “walked” in the counsel of the ungodly in the garden.  Genesis 3:4-6 says:

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Eve was tempted in the garden because she listened to Satan.  She sinned in the garden after she pondered what he said to her.  She believed the lie, and finally acted on it.  I always find it interesting to read that Eve saw that the fruit was “desirable for gaining wisdom.”  I believe she thought that because Satan told her if she ate of it she would be “like God knowing good and evil.”   Where do you go to find wisdom?  Eve went to a source God told her NOT to go to.  

Imagine what may have happened if she had chosen not to listen to Satan.  Or imagine what may have happened if she had chosen to not ponder on that counsel and believe it, but had run to God instead.  After she disobeyed God she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate it.  Then together they hid from God.  

Do you ever find yourself trying to “hide” from God?

Today, we can try to “hide” from God by avoiding our more “godly” friends, not attending church, stopping our bible study or devotionals and disregarding prayer time.

Do you ever find that when you choose to disobey God that you seek company in your disobedience?  

I think it is interesting that Eve “gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.”  Ultimately, Eve followed the counsel of the ungodly, then offered the fruit of disobedience to her husband.   

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Psalm 1:1-3 below shares with us the four things we need to focus on if we want to thrive.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands (submissive and inactive) in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down (to relax and rest) where the scornful (and the mockers) gather.  But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.  And he shall be like a tree firmly planted (and tended) by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper (and come to maturity.)- Psalm 1:1-3 Amplified Version

1. Delight and Desire the law of the Lord

2. Habitually Meditate: Ponder and study God’s Word and instructions.

3. Believe: Believe and agree with the teachings you have meditated on.

4. Act: Live it out!  You will be like a tree firmly planted…and everything you do shall prosper.

Where do you go for counsel and direction?  Who do you call when you have a difficult decision to make?  Are you listening to ungodly counsel if any areas of your life?  

Written by Jamie Shaver

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Tempted? Tips to help you or a child resist temptation

My son had been caught lying in school, and as a punishment his iPod had been removed until further notice.   Since trust is earned back gradually, my husband and I determined that we would allow him to earn back playtime on his iPod slowly, over time.  After several weeks of good behavior with no lying he successfully earned back Tuesdays for 1 hour.  After another week of good behavior he has earned back Sundays for 1 hour.  We expect that eventually he will have earned back every day of the week.  

Well as I was getting ready for bed tonight my son came in asking a question.  This was a very interesting question since he and I both knew he had already reached his max amount of time earlier in the day.  So this is the conversation that followed:

Son (asking at 9:30pm) - “Mom, is there any way you can find out on my iPod how many minutes I’ve played on it today?”

Me- “Why are you asking?

Son- “Because I want to know.”

Me- “Why?”

Son- “Because I just wondered if there was a way to find out.”

Me- “What are you thinking of doing?”

Son- “Ummmm.”

Me- “Are you thinking of playing on it tonight instead of sleeping and wondering if there is any way I might find out?”

Son- “Yes.”

He was thinking of sinning and wanted to know if he could “get away” with it and not suffer any consequences.  The game was not sinful, it’s a good game; however, disobeying your mother and father is sinful and he is not allowed to play more than 1 hour.  So I asked:

Me- “Even if I didn’t “catch” you and I never found out, would you have really “gotten away” with it?”

Son- “Not really.”

Me- “True, because God would have known you were playing that game.  You know that Satan is the tempter and he always comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Since you love Jesus, and are saved, Satan cannot steal your eternal destiny, but in this instance what could he have stolen, killed or destroyed?”

Son- “My happiness, because when I really do earn all my days back I would have known that I didn’t really deserve it because I cheated and played at night when you thought I was sleeping.”

Me- “O.K., so Satan would have robbed your joy of finally achieving every day of the week back.  What would Satan have killed?”

Son- “Uh, I’m not sure.”

Me- “He would’ve killed your internal “peace” because you cannot have true peace if you’re knowingly choosing to sin.  What would Satan have destroyed tonight?”

Son- “I don’t know, but I know I wouldn’t have felt good about it later.”

Me- “Right, he would’ve destroyed your ‘goodness’.  God wants to give you and have you enjoy all the fruits of loving, serving and obeying HIm.  Remember the fruits?  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control?”  

Son- “Yes.”

Me- “Well, if you had disobeyed me tonight Satan would have stolen that fruit that God wants you to bear in your life.  Little by little, the more and more you choose to disobey in any area of your life, more and more of that fruit will be stolen, killed and destroyed.  All sin begins with a thought.  I’m thankful that you shared your thoughts with me.  God’s Word also tells us that when we are tempted He will provide a way out from under it, and we are told to flee temptation.   How can you “flee” your iPod tonight since you are tempted to use it?”

Son- “Ask you to keep it in your room.”

Me- “Good idea.  I love you”, I said as I reached for the iPod in his hand.  

Son- “Love you too, Mom.”

Later I thought about myself and my relationship with God (as often happens after I discipline my own kids) and realized that I would be better off if I asked myself those same three questions when I’m tempted to do something that I can sense God is telling me not to do.  Often times God asks us to not participate in, listen to, watch, eat, read or buy a certain event or item.  These things are not always sinful by themselves, but God speaking in our hearts, asking us not to do something makes it sinful if we indulge.  Even though I have become much better at obeying God’s voice in my heart, I must be aware that the devil will never stop trying to tempt me.  Next time I find myself in a moment of temptation with the great deceiver, I am going to:

Flee

Ask God for His Word to resist Satan

Ask God to reveal to me all that Satan is trying to steal, kill and destroy with this opportunity to disobey Him

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.- John 10:10

Is there anything that Satan, the thief is trying to ‘kill, steal or destroy’ in your life?  Jesus came to give you life, and life to the full! 

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Claim your victory in Christ and you will bear much fruit to the glory of God by calling on His great name and using the power of His Word in your life!  

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?