July 23, 2009
“The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of God is on his heart; his feet do not slip.” Psalm 37:30-31 (NIV)
I think I've discovered one of the biggest tricks Satan plays on us girls to get us to give into temptation.
"It's not fair." It's not fair that others seem permitted to have this, do this, act this way.
It's not fair that God won't let us eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden... one little bite wouldn't be so bad, right?
It's not fair I can't buy that new thing I really want... just a little debt wouldn't be so bad, right?
It's not fair that I have this body that I have to watch everything I eat when that girl eats junk and stays a size 4... one piece of cheesecake wouldn't be so bad, right?
It's not fair that we can't have sex before we're married when we're so in love... experimenting one time wouldn't be so bad, right?
Our flesh buys right into Satan’s lie that it's not fair for things to be withheld from us. So we bite into the forbidden fruit and allow Satan to write 'shame' across our heart. Once you taste the forbidden fruit, you will crave it worse than you craved it before, giving temptation more and more power. And given enough power, temptation will start to consume our thoughts, redirect our actions, and demand our worship. Temptation doesn't take kindly to be starved.
I don't know what tempts you today. But, I do personally know this vicious cycle and I'm here to give you hope it is possible to get past it. Just typing that sentence gives me chills. Just a couple of months ago, I wondered if that would ever be true for me.
I've been on a very strict eating plan since April. Part of this plan is no sugar. Which doesn't sound so bad until you realize sugar is in just about everything we enjoy eating. Breads, pasta, potatoes, rice and not to mention all things bakery-licious.
It has been challenging at times that's for sure. But while I was on vacation recently and watching others enjoys an abundance of treats, I started to have a little pity party and those words crept into my brain: "It's not fair." In that instant, I squirmed in my chair and thought, "I'll just take one little bite... maybe two... I've been so good... this is vacation... everyone else is indulging ... OH MY STARS WHAT ARE YOU DOING LYSA!"
In that moment of extreme temptation, I realized me having a pity party was a clue I was relying on my own strength… a strength that has failed me before and would fail me again. I had to grab hold of God's strength and the only way to do that was to invite His power into my situation. I mentally gave God control of the situation by reciting truths I'd been banking up in my heart. "I'm more than a conqueror." "Lead us not into temptation but DELIVER us from the evil one." “The law of God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.”
Soon, it was time to get up from the dinner table and walk back to our room. And I've never felt so empowered in my life. Had I said yes that first night of our vacation, there would have been more compromises in future meals. Compromise built upon compromise equals failure. Instead, resisting temptation allowed promise upon promise to be built up in my heart, which equals Holy Spirit empowerment!
Like I said, I don't know what you might be struggling with today but I can assure you God is fair and just. There is a reason we must face this. The struggle may be painful in the moment but it is working out something magnificent within us. As James 1 promises, "This testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature, complete, not lacking anything."
Oh sweet sister, that is the cry of my soul. My taste buds lie as they make empty claims to satisfy me. Only persevering with God will make me truly full, complete, not lacking anything. Press on sister. Press on.
Dear Lord, help me to see my sacrifice in light of Your truth. The truth is, this sacrifice is a necessary part of me seeking You - the only true fulfillment and satisfaction of my body, mind and soul. Give me strength, Lord. Remind me to rely on Your truth and Your Spirit to empower me moment by moment. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Click here to visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog for more Scriptures that will encourage you and empower you to find victory over whatever is tempting you. Lysa wants to hear your thoughts on this. Dialog with her today through her blog.
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What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst
Write some of the verses Lysa gives here and on her blog on 3x5 cards and carry them with you. Recite them over and over when you face your temptation, and persevere in resisting.
What does this statement mean to you personally: “Compromise built upon compromise equals failure. But promise built upon promise equals success.”
Psalm 73: 26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (NIV)
James 1:15-16, “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 23 July 2009.