Have you ever done something wrong and the minute you did it…..you thought…”Wow…why did I do/say that?” Maybe I am alone…but I have done it and done it recently. The minute….the words rolled off my tongue…I was regretting it!
I am thankful for what I have learned about these moments when they come. I have read, learned and studied how our actions are preceded by our thoughts. I now pay more attention to what I allow my mind to simmer on or bake on. Looking back now, I see clearly how I allowed the thought, and my annoyance and my judgement (without the facts), to gain momentum in my mind, thus, I didn’t just “mix the ingredients.” I greased the pan…poured the now mixed batter into that pan and yes…I did the unthinkable…I put it in the oven of my mind!
I baked that cake. Guess what baking does? It stimulates your sense of smell. When the cake was baking, it smelled so good. Then I took that cake out of the oven…and what did I do? Yep, I engaged and took a bite. It only tasted good for about a minute until I swallowed and then ….R-E-G-R-E-T…overcame me!
Back-9’ers, I know I write to encourage. To some it may seem that I don’t struggle with sin. It is just not true. I do feel that I sin less often and please God more because it is my focus. I know that Christ is #1 in my life, but sin lurks and I fall and I fail. Sometimes I feel, especially after I speak, for some reason…I am tempted…more. Sounds crazy but I can only testify that it is true for me.
Two times now…after I have felt emptied of myself and full of Him to be able to speak the words He would have me to speak to a group….I feel I have lived the words found in James 3:8-10, “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”
What do I do when I recognize it? I immediately repent…I ask God to forgive me. I know God immediately forgives me and knows my heart. But, I have learned how important it is to take the time to try and figure out “where I am weak” and take precautions. And, I know how to pray. I ask others who are committed to praying for the ministry to pray as well.
In particular, I am now seeing a pattern of temptation and timing. So I am asking the Lord to show me the measures and precautions I need to take, especially just after I have spoken to a group about what God has placed on my heart. It’s like riding a roller coaster. One minute you are at the top, an all-time high, and before you know it, you are at the bottom. The high comes from knowing that I got to participate and be used by God, and then I hit an all-time low shortly after (usually several hours after) from sinning. I ask myself: “How can I say what I just said a few hours ago and then think or say this?”
I hope someone out there reading today is identifying with me here. You don’t have to be in ministry (I believe we are all in ministry, if we are Christians!) to have this happen to you.
I have read many times in Scripture in the books of Matthew and Luke how Satan tempted Jesus with food after Jesus had been fasting and praying for 40 days in the wilderness (see Matthew 4 and Luke 4). Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think I am Jesus, but I have learned several things from Jesus and my personal experience. Satan can tempt us the most right after we have been with Jesus, when seeking Him diligently or serving Him. Just like he did when Jesus was on this earth…that is his (Satan’s) plan.
I see it now and have experienced it personally and failed! The good news is I know how to be more prepared for the enemy’s attacks. I have learned from Jesus to memorize and use Scripture as my sword to cut off the enemy.
A final thing I have realized is this, and you will find it to be true as well, it is an ongoing battle. In Luke 4:13 it tells us, “When the devil finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
Point of post…Ask God to show you the “opportune/weak” times in your life.
Jesus is the only man to walk the face of the earth who was SINLESS. He was God’s Son and fully God at the same time. Not me nor anyone else is sin free. As long as we live, we are going to be tempted at “OPPORTUNE TIMES”. God is faithfully showing me those “opportune/weak” times and I am encouraging you to ask Him to show you the “opportune/weak” times in your life.
Maybe it is when you are around certain people,
or when you are tired,
or when it’s that time of the month,
or when you have more than one drink,
or when you are alone and can watch things you wouldn’t watch if others were around,
You fill in the blank.
WHEN are Satan’s opportune times…when you are most vulnerable?
God will show you. You just have to have the eyes to see and the love for God to want to take precautions….so that your sin doesn’t separate you from…the relationship that is vital for all of life to flow from.
Take the time to examine your life today, this week, this month. Ask God to show you those opportune times and take the necessary precautions that can give you victory! We may stumble but we won’t fall as much.
Blessings for victory over your areas of vulnerability when Satan attacks.