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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Growing through Temptation

When I saw the word "Temptation," I figured I was free. I'm just a mid-aged mom. I don't struggle with a whole lot of temptation.

Then I started to read Chapters 26 and 27 from the Purpose Driven Life. Boy,do I have a problem with temptation!

I'm tempted every day. I'm tempted to complain...Tempted to compare...Tempted to be impatient...Tempted to be intolerant...Tempted to talk too much...Tempted to listen too little.

WEW! What am I going to do with all these temptations? Enter: God.

God makes every temptation an opportunity to do good. On the road to spiritual maturity, temptation can be a stepping-stone. With temptation, God provides an opportunity for us to make a choice.

God then gives us the power to make the right choice.

Love, joy, peace patience, kindness goodness and self-control -- These are the fruits of the Spirit. They are gifts we can receive if we tune in to the Savior.

They are also fruits that grow from wrestling with temptation...and winning.

God developes the Fruits of the Spirit by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you're tempted to express the exact opposite quality.

I don't have to go any further than my angry outbursts to see an opposite quality in the making. Yikes!

OK - I'm tempted to yell...but when God helps me CHOOSE not to -- Whamoo! I receive the Fruit of Patience. Thanks, God, this is mighty tasty!

Satan is a master at temptation. He identifies a desire in you..like the desire to be loved, and uses it against you.

Temptation starts in your mind. Circumstances can agravate it, but the mind is the recepticle of the tempter.

How do we overcome temptation? Ignore it! Fix your mind on something else.

The Bible says to "take our thoughts captive" in 2Corin 10:4. A mind focused on the Word of God will not be distracted.

Finally, reveal your struggles to someone, a good Christian friend or a church group. Ask for help. They can pray you up and keep you accountable!

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