Overcoming Seasonal Temptation

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Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2

In the previous two article I discussed why we have seasons and seasonal temptation. Now time for some good news! How to overcome seasonal temptation.

1. Renew your mind

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

God’s Word makes it clear that we need to renew our minds. Pray for the renewal and continually be in His Word. It’s not enough to just believe the word. We have to know it.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. -2 Corinthians 4:16

The renewing of our mind has to be a daily practice. Temptation starts in the mind and it’s also where the enemy attacks us the most. The way in fighting attacks on your mind is by the renewal of His Word. You cannot take a thought out of your mind, but you can crowd it with more powerful thoughts. Meditating on scriptures day by day is the way to renew our thoughts to focus solely on Jesus our Savior.

2. “It is written”

“It is written” is used many times in the bible, and it is used the most by Jesus and Paul. Both knew that by quoting the bible they had authority over the enemy.

The book of Luke tells us that Jesus was tempted for the whole 40 days in the desert by Satan. In Matthew 4:1 it tells us of the last three temptations on Jesus by Satan.

When the devil asked Jesus, “If you are the Son of God turn these rocks into bread.” Jesus answered,

“It is written,” ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

The next time Satan tempted Jesus he actually quoted the bible using Psalm 91. For it is written: “He shall give his angels charge over you and save you.”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

Satan had the nerve to quote the bible in trying to get Jesus to do what he wanted, but Jesus knew God’s word better.

If Jesus used God’s word to defeat the lies of the devil and to overcome temptation then why shouldn’t we? The only thing is we can’t use God’s word in times of need if we don’t know what is written. We need to be in His word everyday. When Satan quotes a scripture to you, you need to quote one back!

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. -Hebrews 2:18

3. Pray that you enter not into temptation. 

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. -Matthew 26:41

Notice it says to pray you enter not into temptation. Everyone on this earth will be tempted in some shape or form, so praying you won’t be tempted is useless. God’s word does promise that we can overcome any temptation that comes against us by the power of His Word.

When temptation does arise, pray that you can withstand it.

Watch and pray. We need to be watchful of our minds because temptation will begin there. Pray that when that tempting thought comes in your mind that you will be able to cast it down and replace it with God’s word. Praying guards your spirit and will help you overcome temptation.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. -1 Corinthians 10:13

God will always allow a way for you to escape the temptation. Pray and be in His Word and you cannot fail!

4. Pray excessively in the Holy Spirit.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. -John 16:13

We have a wonderful counselor and best-friend who abides on the earth with us. His name is The Holy Spirit. He will guide us into all truth.

Praying excessively in the Spirit will give you the power to overcome every temptation.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. -Romans 8:26

This verse is amazing and is enough for me! The Holy Spirit helps in our weakness. When we don’t know how to pray or what to pray He will intercede on our behalf. He will help if we ask and let him. How many times do we need help but can’t put the words into prayer? Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Helper. (John 14:26) Let him help.

Created New in Christ

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You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24

Christians are renewed in the image of God and our being transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ Jesus.

Imitate Jesus.

Every Christian is predestined and called to become Christ-like.

Why put off our old selves? Because we were once corrupted by sinful nature. Jesus is the truth and Satan is the father of lies. As Christians we must take no part of our former lives.

We are made new in our minds. Our thoughts provoke our actions. We think differently therefore we want to live better lives.

We are made righteous and holy through Jesus.

We were created in the image of God. It is His desire for us to live as he does. We love Him and therefore we want to please him in our new way of living.

Read More Coffee Dates with Jesus!

 

5 Verses to deal with Anxiety

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1. Jesus instructs us not to worry about tomorrow.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not your life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin.

Matthew 6:25-34

2. Take one day at a time.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34

3. Don’t be anxious, but pray.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

4. Cast your anxiety on the Lord.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

5. Reading God’s word will lift the weight off your heart.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.

Proverbs 12:25

Seasonal Temptation

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Temptation can come on a daily basis and unexpectedly. Satan is the source of temptation and temptation itself begins in the mind. A thought can be out in your mind by the enemy and what’s he’s trying to do is coax you into disobeying God.

When God delivers you from a sinful habit the enemy will return every so often to test you and try and enslave you in the same sin Jesus set you free from. That is seasonal temptation. The goal of the enemy is put believers back into bondage.

Many believers sometimes feel like failures because they’ve given into temptation and it’s become a vicious cycle for them. They feel like they’ve let God down too many times and they should just give up. Don’t beat yourselves up. If you have the attention of the enemy, you have the attention of God.

Don’t feel defeated by temptation. It only means you are striving to live a life for God. In Philippians 3:12-14 Paul takes about having a healthy dissatisfaction with himself. Even though he is a mature christian he knows it’s not an easy road, but he also refuses to let his past or the mistakes of his future defeat him. When you mess up don’t stop trying to achieve the plan God has set in your heart. Press and on and pray that you will overcome future temptation.

Every person is subject to season’s of temptation. The question is are you going to resist or give in.

When lust is conceived it bringeth forth sin and sin bringeth forth death.

James 1:15

Notice in James it says when lust is “conceived”. One of the definitions of “conceive” is to form or devise a plan or idea in the mind. Meaning that temptation begins in your mind and when you go through with the sin it will result in death. An evil thought is powerless in the spirit realm as long as it stays there. Satan can through fiery darts to your mind all he wants. Only we can cast down these thoughts by the Word of God. It’s the only way to have victory in this area.

We overcome Satan by the Word of God. Scripture promises authority to us in his name to trample the enemy, but according to the book of Job there are seasons when God allows testing.

Why would God allow testing?

It’s always for our good. When we withstand temptation we receive the crown of life that God has promised us. (James 1:12)

As long as you live, the enemy will use what you see and what you do against you. In James chapter 1 verse 14 it days when we are tempted we are dragged away by our own evil desires.

God tells us that we should consider it pure joy when we face trials, because he knows it will make us stronger. It builds our faith and trust in him.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

2 Corinthians 2:11

Don’t let the enemy get a foothold over you by the ungodly friends in your life, the movies you watch, and the music you listen to. If you tell yourself that those things have no influence over you and your life, that’s being ignorant and therefore giving the enemy a right to attack you and tempt you.

James goes on to say that we should get rid of moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:21)

Seasons will come and go. Our circumstances will change frequently. We must stand on the one thing that will never be changed or shaken. We need to stand on God’s Word!

In part 3, which is the last message in this series, I will list how to overcome seasonal temptation.

Why Do We Have Seasons?

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What do you think when the leaves begin to change? The rich colors of red and yellowish gold form.

Summer is gone and Fall is beginning. The seasons have changed. We can quickly recognize this change in the air and in the colors.

How much easier would it be if we could recognize the seasons in our life changing? If we could feel a cool breeze coming to tell us that a season of blessings and plenty was coming. How helpful would it be to feel the heat getting warmer and thicker to warn us of a hard time coming so that we may prepare ourselves. These seasons come very frequently in blessings and sometimes terrible trials.

Thankfully God tells us what to expect and what to do when these seasons of testing come and how to endure through each one. What you can learn from the season you’re in, and why it’s happening.

Why do we have seasons? What is God trying to teach us?

TO TEACH US TO BE FAITHFUL.

Jesus rebuked Peter for his little faith. Jesus walked on water; Peter tried and failed.

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” –Matthew 14:22-31

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. –Acts 1:7

I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” –Luke 18:8

SEASONS MAY CONSUME US, BUT HIS MERCY IS NEW EVERY MORNING.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” –Lamentations 3:22-24

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. –1 Peter 5:7

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. –2 Corinthians 12:9

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. –Psalm 32:7-8

HE WANTS US TO DEPEND ON HIM, EVEN IN SEASONS OF TESTING

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. –Psalm 1:3

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit be prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… –John 15:1-27

When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. –Mark 12:2

HE WANTS US TO TRUST HIM.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. –1 Thessalonians 5:1

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone, The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. –Song of Solomon 2:11-13

Seasons come and go, but God’s word stands forever. Our faith produces fruit and pleases God when we trust in his greater plan. Even through testing and temptation, God will give you everything you need to endure, stand firm and conquer.

In part 2 of this series I will go into seasonal temptation. What it is and what God’s word says about it. God bless!

Meditating on His Word

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Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 1:1-3

The way of the righteous and the end of the ungodly

God promises everything we do will prosper if we meditate on his word day and night. That’s a promise to great and wonderful to ignore.

Can you imagine everything in your life prospering?

Meditation is taking a scripture and really focusing on it. Memorizing it and then later in the day bringing it back up. Meditation protects your mind from attacks of the enemy. When you’ve meditated on a verse you can use it when the enemy tries to come against you.

God also tells us that we are blessed when leave behind our old life and ungodly friends.

Seasons in our life are a lot like the seasons we are familiar with. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. We go through the rainy stormy weather, to sunny days, right into breezy weather and then sure enough the cold comes.

Meditating on God’s Word will bring forth fruit in every season. Even when the season’s change and the storm comes you can still bear fruit. He tells us that we will not wither nor perish, but prosper! You don’t have to worry about when the rain comes or the cold.

The result of biblical meditation is guaranteed success and prosperity.

Read More Coffee Dates with Jesus!

 

Self Control

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1. We need to exercise self-control.

Think clearly and exercise self-control.

1 Peter 1:13

2. Self-discipline is a gift of God.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear bit of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

3. Lack of self control brings despair.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Proverbs 25:28

4. One who is self controlled is wise; a fool has none.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Proverbs 29:11

5. Be self controlled in your talking; control your tongue.

A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.

Proverbs 20:19

6. Self Control is a fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is… gentleness, self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

7. We must put a deep effort to have self control.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.

2 Peter 1:5-6

8. God trains us to exercise self control.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.

Titus 2:11-12

9. Be motivated by Christ’s redeeming love.

… while we wait for the blessed hope- the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 2:13-14

10. Stand firm and don’t be easily moved by others.

My dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

PRAYER FOR SELF CONTROL

Lord give me the gift of self control. For it is written in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. Let no temptation over rule me. Holy Spirit help me to walk not in the flesh, but in the spirit. Thank you Jesus for being my friend and for hearing my prayer. Amen.