TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• For Christmas, my dad and his wife sent me a blanket. It’s quite pretty—white with luxuriously soft faux fur on one side and a velour texture on the other. It’s also amazingly cozy and warm. So much so that as soon as it comes out of the laundry, it’s going into storage. I can’t have this thing in my living room anymore. With the temperatures fluctuating as they have, and my refusal to turn the heat back on in April, I’ve used it a lot lately. And every time I use it, a wave of drowsiness settles over me. I’m convinced this blanket has a negative impact on my productivity. So, it must go. It can come back out when it is super cold and I’m purposefully being lazy on the couch.
Temptation is a real thing we all face and too often, we let whatever tempts us become our master. While it may be something as harmless as an extra-cozy blanket that distracts us from what we should be doing, it could also be something more serious such as a temptation to lie, cheat, deceive, etc. Temptation takes many forms and it’s all dependent on the one being tempted. After all, we all have our personal brands of sin that we are more drawn to than others. So what tempts me may not tempt you, and vice versa.
We’re in the NLT translation today and I think many of us are familiar with 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” It’s a verse of great comfort that we don’t have to be a slave to what tempts us. God will help us resist!
But I actually want to look at the verse just before that today. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 10:12. It says, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.” And actually, I really like The Message version which says it this way, “Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.”
Cultivate God-confidence versus self-confidence! I love that! Because here’s the thing… when we’re tempted, it’s not our power to resist! We’re sinners! Sin has a pull as strong as the gravitational pull that keeps us tethered to the earth! It tugs on us and pulls us into the web of tangled lies and it’s all a trap! If sin wasn’t so alluring for us, we wouldn’t need Savior! But clearly, we can’t resist it on our own. We need God! So we can’t be arrogant enough to claim, “I can resist that temptation.” That’s setting ourselves up for failure and as it says in Proverbs 16:18 NLT, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” We need to humble ourselves to confess that true freedom is only going to be found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin…So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:34,36 NLT). The sins we are tempted by enslave us, but Jesus offers us freedom. Trusting in that is the God-confidence that we need. It alone enables and equips is to turn our back on the sins that tempt us. Because only with Jesus are we free—free indeed.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for offering you freedom from your sins. Thank Him that with God, we can turn away from the temptations that would hurt us and trap us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be aware of temptations and when faced with them, turn to Him so you will be strong enough to resist.
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