by Pastor Tim Burt
Temptation! We all face it. Do we succeed in saying no to it? Most would say, Not as often as I would like!
When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your entire focus of life changes! You begin to read your Bible and listen to Bible Teaching (hopefully from a Pastor of a church you started attending (or me…😁), and as you do, hopefully, your path of life heads in a steady direction that lines up with the life Jesus taught us to live in His Word. But, as all this change in life begins to happen, temptation does not disappear. Temptation will always try to creep into your life because it’s how the devil tries to take us down. When we learn of God’s ways, we want to turn from evil and instead live for the Lord. We want to think, speak, and do that which pleases the Lord as well as helps and blesses others. But then there are those things that come up in our lives that we know we should avoid. We should because they either represent something that isn’t good for us or something the Lord has asked us to refrain from. Or, they simply encompass evil. Even so, you know how it is when we can’t or shouldn’t have what is tempting us; the temptation seems to grow. Why is that? I’ll tell you.
People cave daily to things they should not do. They don’t realize that without Jesus Christ, there is a demonic influence that leads them to and keeps them engaged in things they know they should not engage in.
When one prays and receives Jesus to become their personal Lord and Savior and repents of their sins, forgiveness is given, and the Holy Spirit, in that moment, comes to live within that person. In that instant, the power of demonic influence is broken. Let me say that again! In that instant, the power of demonic influence is broken! It may not seem or feel like it, but the truth is, truth prevails over feelings! At that point, it’s not demonic power that is your problem. Just your old way of thinking that the Lord is about to do a great work in you if you will let Him teach you how! The command from God is to renew your mind from its old ways of thinking. This is how God brings power, inward strength, and transformation to help you live for Him. Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
You used to be selfish, but as you read God’s word, He teaches you to be like Jesus—selfless. As your mind is taught by God’s Word as to what is good and bad for you, the Holy Spirit begins to speak to your heart and conscience (your soul) about your life and behaviors and what needs to change, and so transformation begins. God Himself reveals to you what is good and right. Though demonic influences are always around you, they no longer have power or control over you. Instead, you have the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding you from within. Let this truth become a revelation of His power working within you! 1 John 4:4 (NLT) says, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory…because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” This verse declares that the Holy Spirit within you is greater than any and every demonic influence that is in this world! That means you have the power and strength to change and overcome temptation! Make no mistake about it. Satan will lie and try to tell you that’s not true! And you will be tempted. But again, truth prevails over lies and feelings! Praise God. As this revelation grows in you, so does your strength and power over temptation and sin!
So then, if this is true—the power of demonic influence over you being broken, and we have the power of the Holy Spirit, then why do we still deal with temptation? That is a great question that we’ll look at next time. But for today, just remember that as a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives within you. He wants to do a great work in you! Renewing your mind to God’s word is the beginning of that work in you, so spend more time meditating on God’s truths in your heart! That greater one – the Holy Spirit lives in you, and you have power over anything that is sinful, evil, or contrary to God’s word. I promise you you’ll grow in that truth if you will walk down this road! More next time!
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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