Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Heart in Temptation

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  1 Corinthians 10:13(NIV).

Hello readers. Welcome to my heart.  Let's begin. 

As with the rest of the blogs, this new revelation has been laid on my heart.  I've been praying a prayer to God, asking Him how can I effectively minister to people.  How can I effectively write blogs to touch people, or effectively talk to people to maybe lead them to Him, really cashing in on the Wonderful Counselor nickname He has.  So, the answer that continues to come to me is, "Focus on the heart."  Not in a deep Morgan Freeman voice, but I will say, that would be cool.  Anyways, lets check out a few moments in the Bible that I've never thought to compare, the temptation of Jesus, and the temptation of Eve.

Now the scenario of the temptations, I can believe is actually how many of our temptations are brought to us.  Maybe not so much in a "snake form", like it was with Eve, but more so in a subconscious way, or the mouth of a friends, or triggers that reminds us of pleasures, whatever the case may be, THE ENEMY APPROACHES US TO TEMPT US. (that's the point I'm trying to make.)  Now, we are looking at two people who were tempted, Eve and Jesus.  Now, please don't go Holier than thou and say that well, it was Jesus.  I know..I understand that.  But ignore that He was the Son of God for a quick second and accept that He was a man.  Yes, He was man, which means we're asked to imitate Him because He came to prove it was do-able. Lol...ok fingers. Stay focused.
So, Eve and Jesus were tempted in similar ways.  The enemy approaching them in times of "vulnerability."  Jesus was hungry, and Eve, well, she was a 21st Century Bible Belt woman. (Stay with me.)  Eve knew the "word of God", but she didn't really believe in them.  She knew God said, "Don't eat from the tree", but she didn't believe in them deep enough to stand on them and submit to them.  Now, Jesus, the same.  He knew the word of God, and spoke them back to the enemy.  Well, Eve did too.  She said what God had told them, but she still was deceived.  So...what happened? 

Thanks for asking. 

The real question is "WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?"  I'm starting to love this question.  WHY? Why do we fall? Why do we give into temptation?  Why do we conform to the world?  Why?  WHY? Here are two people.  One failed in their temptations, like many of us.  And one succeeded in their temptations, like maybe many of us too.So, what is the difference here?  Enough questions, lets get into this.

So, let's look at Jesus first.  Jesus knew the word of God.  So did Eve.  But the difference is that jesus had to have been firm in His belief when He said it.  There's power in the word of God, but none in us.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Mark 14:38.  The spirit of God in Christ was willing to obey God during His fast, so He spoke the word of God to help Him.  But something else took over.  He didn't have heart issues with the word of God.  Jesus wasn't only listen to God because was the son of God, or because He was raised in the church, or because He was born in a manger, but He had a relationship with God.  It's assumed that Jesus was tapping into His purpose when He was 12 when He was talking back to His mom at the Feast of the Passover. (Luke 2:39-50).  But see, Jesus knew that He could bank and trust in the word of God.  He knew whatever the enemy had to offer was not close in comparison to what His Father in heaven could offer.  Oh, wait, He actually says this. "Away from me, Satan!  For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.
Now poor Eve.  She didn't.  She hadn't gotten close enough to God for Him to show her WHY He doesn't want them to eat from the tree. Eve didn't take seriously the part of "You will most certainly die".  She didn't stand on His worth.  She didn't see that it was worth giving up her taste for it because God said so, but also because He loves her and is trying to protect her.  She didn't see that.  So, what am I saying here? 

Knowledge is good.  Knowledge of the word of God and knowing right from wrong is good, but honestly, that alone isn't keeping people.  That alone isn't keeping this generation. I think you can always tell the ones who have the knowledge, because they the ones yelling "Only God can judge me." But, there has to be a heart change.  The Bible says that EVERYTHING flows through our heart (Proverbs 4:23)  This means both good or bad, EVERYTHING flows through our hearts.  According to this word, EVERYTHING we do has a heart condition attached to it. So I believe with all my heart that reading more books won't heal us.  Reading more blogs like this won't heal us.  Going to church every Sunday won't heal us.  Just these actions and disciplines alone do not have the power to save us.  God does.  His gentle touch on our hearts can flip the script. It can turn a story of getting expelled from the Garden into a redemptive story of you returning home, returning to your warm place in His arms.  I think Jesus knew that.  He knew that it wasn't just what you know, its who you know. Jesus knew that first we must love God with all of our hearts and minds and souls and the body will follow.  Not lets LEARN about God and try to line up our lives in order to love Him.  Hey, rank them in the right way.  LOVE GOD FIRST, WITH ALL HEART,MIND, & SOUL. God knows there's enough power in His love to change you, if you come to Him in that way. I'm not even worried about preaching that, and that alone.

So, to finish up this blog, I'm going back to the theme scripture.  The escape, I think, is simple.  I don't think it was the tree exploding in the Garden, or all the fruit disappearing, but the escape is perhaps our hearts choosing to stand on our Father's love.  He's faithful. And just like with Jesus, the devil left him alone.  Defeated!!

(Feel free to do any dance of your preference here, I honestly, chose to dougie.) I'll say it again so you're ready.

The devil is DEFEATED!!!! (do your dance.) 

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