Late in the midnight hour talking with a friend of mine we discussed why we do what we do even when we know it is not right. Why the endless struggle to just do things God’s way? Given how much we profess our faith and ascribe to having a relationship with Christ, why does this thing called temptation get the best of us from time to time. I noted that everytime I became impatient or doubtful of if God would give me what I wanted I found myself vulnerable to falling. To taking life into my own hands and like a true “sistah” I do it for myself! But isn’t that the original sin in the garden? Or at least so she thought. There was no evidence to substantiate the serpents claim that God didn’t want her to be like Him knowing good and evil at the time. Uh, huh! The serpent was able to convince Eve she needed knowledge God did not give her. He convinced her that she was missing out on something. God was a suspect God. He was holding out on her. You better do it for yourself girlfriend! You owe it to yourself… you know that line… The serpent made her lose faith in God for a long enough period of time to make her grasp at fulfillment on her own. The cost of her fatal mistake and afternoon snack has cost us all dearly as we too, now struggle with the same conversations with the same serpent in our own personal gardens. So I concluded when we lose faith in God we sin. Plain and simple. When we stop believing in God we believe in ourselve or others to fulfill us, to provide our wants and needs… Lets unpack this…
The absence of faith is what makes us sin. Think about it. Singles struggle with compromising in the area of sex or choosing the wrong partner because they don’t know when they will get another opportunity for true love and intimacy! The married person has an affair because they don’t believe their spouse will ever meet their unmet needs… people steal because they dont’ believe they can honestly get what they need… on and on. the root of all our issues with caving into what our heart demands is not trusting God to meet us on the other side of our obedience with the blessing we so deeply desire. Can you really do things God’s way and get the desire of your heart? Can He provide you with your soulmate? Can He get your spouse to love you the way you want? Will He supply your needs? Yes, but perhaps not in the time frame you had in mind. We want to skip the process of becoming people who can handle the blessing properly and just get to the blessing. God help us all! So how do we stand firm in times of temptation? A few simple tips?
1. Make sure we are truly connected to the Lover of our Soul. When you are deeply in love you know, love and trust your lover completely. You will wait for them to fulfill their promises. We won’t cheat on Him and flirt with other lovers (gods).
2. Know Gods’ Word and His promises for you. You can’t wait if you don’t know what you are waiting for. Knowing His heart also means you know how He feels about you and what He wants for you. When you know He loves you and wants the best for your life you can stand in confidence and not settel for less than the best for your lie.
3. Keep it real with a friend who can talk you through those moments when you don’t think you can stand on your own. Somebody saying “chile, are you crazy!?” helps, sho nuff. If you know you have to be accountable and the question will be asked, “How’s that going?” it will keep you on the right path. When I had to check in at Weight Watchers I didnt’ want the scale to tell on me so I stuck to my diet, same principle in life across the board. If you only answer to yourself you are in trouble before you begin. The heart will always make up excuses for you. It is deceitful and wicked, don’t trust it!
4. Set boundaries that protect you from your weaknesses. Don’t become paralyzed by them, just be honest with yourself and others so you can stand. I don’t keep sweets in my house, ’cause if they are there I will eat them! Get it? This is a maturity issue. A child keeps screaming til it gets what it wants. But adults learn to wait and pace themselves to get or achieve what they want in life. They have clear cut strategies for moving forward toward their dreams. So have a plan for yourself that keeps you on track. The last fruit of the spirit that no one talks about is Self Control or Discipline. You can’t be an adult without them. Make these two your best friends and see what happens to your life. Any successful person you see walks with these two friends!
5. Finally brothers and sisters, love yourself enough to say no. Say no to things, situations and people who will cost you dearly later after the initial pleasure wears off. Even the Bible admits that sin is pleasurable, but adds the caveat– for a season. There is a price to pay for everytime we wander from God’s path. Lets grow up and develop longterm vision. After all this is your life, invest in yourself by not spending yourself foolishly.It’s called growing up with a healthy dose of surrender– which, by the way is your reasonable act of worship for all that Christ has done for you. So die a little, in order to live to the fullest.
Love you madly, so want us all to get this thing called life right!