Encouragement for Today
“Minefield of Temptation”
Marie Ogram, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Romans 7:19-20, “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (NIV)
Why is it that I do the things that I don’t want to do and don’t do the things that I want to do? Take the computer game Minesweeper for instance. Sometimes I just want to sit down to relax and play a game or two. I get hooked on something like a silly game and can’t seem to stop playing it even though I know that I am wasting sooooooooo much time in just trying to break my own record. Maybe it is watching TV or reading books verses the Bible. You fill in your own blank. It might be ____________.
Paul seemed to be struggling with the same issues (not Minesweeper mind you) – but doing what he didn’t want to do and not doing what he knew he needed to do. At times, it just seems not only a battle of the will, but also a battle of the mind. A spirituality issue — absolutely. There are times that I do things out of convenience. I take the easy way out. However, at other times I simply do not desire to have to expend the necessary effort to accomplish what God has called me to do. Sound familiar? How do your toes feel—kind of compressed and sore? I know that I cannot be the only person battling this problem since Paul wrote about it in Romans 7:15-20. He was expressing a conflict that was real and intense and is still today in my life and the lives of many others. It seems he may have been personally struggling with this issue since he used the pronouns I and me repetitively in verses 7-25. He appears to be struggling in his heart, mind and soul, just as we do. The closer we examine God’s holiness and goodness, the more aware we become of our own sinfulness. He (Paul) had passed from darkness into light, just as we did when we accepted Christ Jesus into our hearts. Suddenly there is light illuminating the darkness that lies deep within our own hearts. The closer we find ourselves to God the more likely we will become aware of the sin in our lives and exhibit a desire to conquer it.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, please help me as I struggle to live as You want me to and not as my flesh desires. Please give me the strength to not only live for You but to live to be a godly example for others around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
In your journal, record those activities that are compromising your Christian growth. Write down which steps you are going to take to overcome these undesirable activities.
Write down 1 Corinthians 10:13 and place it on a prominent place in your home and commit it to memory.
What other activities can you undertake that will help you replace your old habits?
Who in your life can help hold you accountable in not falling back into your old ways?
Whom is God leading you to hold accountable?
1 Peter 5:8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (NIV)
Romans 6:16-18, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.“(NIV)
James 1:13-15, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire ahs conceived, it give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (NIV)
Psalm 51:1-2, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to our great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (NIV)
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
Women Who Do Too Much (audio tape), by Patricia Sprinkle
Originally published Thursday, 17 November 2005.