14But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).
15Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.
16Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.
17Every good gift and every perfect (]free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].
18And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].
Last week I had a lady in our church approach me to "unload". It was an eye-opening experience for me. This women who serves in ministry was battling a situation that could lead to destruction...destruction of her spiritually, of her ministry, and of her family. I sat there listening to her rationalize and justify her thoughts, her actions, her potential actions. I listen to her claims of God being ever present within this sin. My heart gasped for a moment for I saw myself in her. I wore those shoes once. I said those same words, had those same thoughts, claimed God's presence within my sin. As I listened I remember praying in that moment "so that's how I sounded Lord? That's how I was thinking? How could I have been so blinded from the truth Lord?"and my heart broke. My heart was humbled. I felt my own shame again.
I was blinded to truth when deceptive desires crossed my past a few years ago. Satan's deception of my heart lead to destructive desires which lead to foolish actions and many many losses. Though in the end the spiritual rewards have far outweighed the pain and suffering, I knew what God was calling me to do in that moment. I got in my friends face and with full spiritual determination I laid her deception out as plainly and as boldly as I could. I had been there and God put me in the her life in His timing to try and stop her from traveling this path, to help her unmask the deception of her heart, her thoughts, her belief and to help her avoid the pain that I went through. Pray for her. She is not alone in this journey. Many, many Christian women have and will wear these shoes. But here is the good news....
Satan wants us to live in his darkness, his destruction. He wants us to be dead to the spiritual. God wants us to live in the spiritual, to live as subjects of His favor and mercy. So how do we overcome the destructive desires satan entices us with? CPR for the soul:
Connect and center your life on the spiritual-keep focus on God and don't allow anything into your vision, your thoughts or your day that are not from God. Confront the sins and destructive desires satan throws your way with on on-going relationship with Christ.
Pray, Pray and Pray!! Constant communication with God is medicine to our souls. It is the vital step in maintaining our focus on Him. It not only keeps us connected with Christ but also shields us satan's attack.
Receive God's truth about who you are in Him. Meditating on His word gives you His vision and His discernment for His truth. This truth we are called to live in comes from His redemptive grace. Hands down, His truth is our life line to live in the spiritual-to being made in His likeness, unblemished and faultless.
We are called to live out our faith. Yes, we are imperfect and we will fail. But God is there, to pick us up, to carry us, to lead us on. The world does not want us to live in the spiritual. I say its time we changed that. It is time we live openly and boldly for Christ. If He loves us enough to forgive us without stipulations are we not called to love Him back through our life in our thoughts, our words, our actions?
Deceptive desires...be careful. Like my friend, like me, one serving in ministry, assuming to be strong in faith, can be weakened by even the simplest attack from satan and fall into deceptive thoughts that lead to deceptive desires that become destructive actions. Remember that song you sang in children's church ...."Oh be careful little eyes what you see, and be careful little ears what you hear..."? The Father up above is looking down below and He promises to love and protect us. We have to keep focused on Him. We have to boldly live our faith and radiate Him in our life.
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Boldly for Him~Pamela