Tag Archive | temptation

PUTT OFF YOUR EGO (guest post)

Basically all humans have an ego. Family, environment, status, economy, education, the treatment and the words of others, certain events and the things that are intensely repeated in one’s life, can be shape and predispose the ego. In Greek, “ego” means “I, me, my” (a primary pronoun of the first person I – only expressed when emphatic). Simply put, the ego is a perspective on self or an individual’s concept of self, or “A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance”. How we respond, react, and act against everything is a manifestation of our ego. Therefore as disciples of Christ we must see ourselves in God’s perspective so that we have the same self-concept as God’s concept of ourselves, and as much as we can avoid falling into sin caused by the ego.

SHOULD LIVE AS CHRIST DID

In John 8: 12-14, the Lord Jesus testifies of Himself:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am (in the original language using the word “ego”) the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

Jesus answered, “Even if I (in the original language using the word “ego”) testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.”

Jesus knows exactly who He is. He knew exactly the purpose of his life, and in his obedience He had accomplished the Father’s work perfectly. That’s our longing, right?! Everyone who truly loves God will want to understand God’s will, to be used by Him, and to experience the fulfillment of His plan. But that is often hindered by our-selves alone (the ego). The “I AM” factor with all the attributes and peculiarities that stick to us – character, nature, perspective, strength, weakness, and so on – often makes us give the wrong response. Consequently, we fail to understand God’s intentions, fail to recognize His call, be confused and don’t understand His will, even acting wrongly.

Since we were born and grow, along with it the ego is evolving. Then when we meet Christ, there will be alignment. That is our self is more aligned with the Word of God. The parts of us (the ego) that are wrong must be corrected, the impure must be cleaned, the deviate must be straightened, the useless must be removed. When we believe and accept Christ as the only God and Savior, at once we become new creatures: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) But that doesn’t mean automatically our entire existence will change instantly. There are things that require our cooperation to respond appropriately to any process of God.

The first thing we must realize is that our identity – originally created in God’s image and likeness – has been restored! We no longer live under the curse but abide in the Father’s grace for Jesus has paid our condemnation. Our names have been written in the Book of Life. Our status has been transformed into a God’s child and the heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. We no longer live for ourselves, but are called to do the noble task of the Father. The purpose of our lives is no longer self-satisfaction, but pleases God and becomes His true worshipers. His Holy Spirit dwells in us. We will be increasingly transformed into Jesus like in words, thoughts, and deeds. And because we belong to Christ, we must live like Christ did. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did.” (1 John 2:6 TLB)

It is all God’s perspective on His children. As His children, we must see ourselves just as the Father sees us. We must have and live the restored self-concept. Our paradigm in looking at ourselves and this life must be change.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

Transformed by the renewing of mind means we have to change in thought, feeling, and will. The measure of good or bad, right or wrong, profit or loss, worthy or not, etc., is no longer ourselves alone (ego) but God’s word!

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 NIV)

In that way, from time to time our ego will become increasingly eroded and God’s plan in our lives can be accomplished.

SUBMIT TO GOD

As a people who should live as Christ did, then we must imitate what Jesus did. In Matthew 4: 1-11, Jesus was tempted by Satan after He finished 40 days 40 nights fasting.

The first: IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD, tell these stones to become bread.” (verse 3)

The second: IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (verse 6)

When we note, the essence of the first and second trials is not just about bread or about throw self down, but Satan manipulated and challenged Jesus to prove Himself and His power as Son of God.

The third: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD AND THEIR SPLENDOR. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (verse 8-9)

In the third temptation, Satan is “luring” Jesus with wealth, power, and honor in the eyes of the world. In those three trials, Jesus always answered, “It is written.”

The key to Jesus’ triumph over temptation is that He always submit Himself under the authority of God’s Word. If we are going to win over temptation then WE MUST BE SUBMIT OUR EGO UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD. Our standard of living and responding to everything is not the ego, but God’s Word!

Similarly, when Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion. Three times Jesus prayed, And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36 NKJV) Jesus declare that nothing is impossible for the Father. Jesus believed the Father must be able to grant His request, but Jesus submit Himself to the Father’s will.

If we desire to live in God’s plan, then OUR EGO SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE GOD’S WILL. Our standard in reacting to everything is not our thoughts, feelings, and will, but God’s will, because sometimes our ego pushes us into doing something we think is right but it is not true or not God’s desired way, as Moses did.

If we read in Exodus 2: 11-15, Moses acted to defend his people, Israel, by killing the Egyptians who were beating a Hebrew. It was easy for Moses to do that because he was educated and trained in the palace of Pharaoh. Should defend his people is the right attitude, but because the timing and the way was not right then what happenned was a misunderstanding. He was rejected by his own people and sought after by Pharaoh to be killed.

Our ego must always be submitted under God’s authority, that is the Word and His will, even when we want to do the right thing in our eyes! If the ego is not submitted and handled, we can be a selfish person who measures everything from the standpoint of oneself and for oneself.

LIVING IN GOD’S PLAN

Ultimately, the whole value of our lives comes from God. Our life will be meaningful and fruitful if it is founded on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and built according to God’s plan. Do not let the ego prevent us from entering into it. The apostle Paul is a wonderful example.

Paul has a tremendous Jewish background. Born to an orthodox Jewish family, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee (Phil. 3: 5-6), living as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of Judaism (Acts 26: 5), and trained under Gamaliel – A famous scribe and member of the Jewish Council (Acts 22: 3). Regardless of his Greek-speaking ability and Roman citizenship, it is clear that Paul had the potential to serve as an apostle to the Jews, as did the apostle Peter. But God sent him to the Gentiles: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'” (Acts 22:21 NIV)

Paul didn’t boast of himself as a capable man. He also didn’t argue with God. All he did is obey: But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.” (Gal 1:15-16 NKJV) Even though in the early days of his ministry he had been questioned by apostles and Jewish Christians, he continued to walk and work on God’s call until his last breath at the hands of Emperor Nero’s executioner in Rome. That is the life that fulfills God’s plan.

BEING A NEW CREATION

“Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to PUT OFF YOUR OLD SELF, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; TO BE MADE NEW IN THE ATTITUDE OF YOUR MINDS; and to PUT ON THE NEW SELF, created to be like God IN TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS.” (Ephesians 4:21-24 NIV)

Let us PUT OFF THE EGO OF OUR OLD SELF. Do not feel great, capable, and confident because of rich, clever, have power, handsome or beautiful, talented, influential, and many advantages. Also do not feel inferior because of feel ugly, poor, stupid, and many weaknesses. Don’t rely on our sense of self-esteem or self-importance based on all of that!

“He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered.” (Proverb 28:26 AMPC)

Rather, let us live in THE NEW ATTITUDE OF OUR MIND AND PUT ON THE NEW SELF IN JESUS CHRIST, also live in THE TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS, which are values that are not measured by our own perspective and our sense of self-esteem or self-importance, but based on what God says. Certainly not by relying on our own strength and effort, but by relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit all the time and continuously, until the whole process of our lives ends, that is, when we close our eyes forever to return to the Father, the owner of our life.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV)

 

A M E N

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

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The Desert Process

THE DESERT PROCESS - Karina's Thought

 

I am surely believed that there is no one in this world wants live in misery. There is no one in this world, no matter what their religion deliberately pray to God so their live full with suffering.  We always expect as could as possible our live will free of problems that could make us suffered.  It is very reasonable. But we also have to know that problems and trials are a part of our lives. There is a season our lives will a lot of hard problems and trials.  The question is why should there be a problem in our lives? Why our lives aren’t free from problems so we could really enjoy the life? My dear friends, in my personal lives I look that the problems have important meaning. I mean is, I give a simple illustration like this, if we never sick we will have tendency to not appreciate the importance of maintaining a good health. Precisely because we know that get sick is unpleasant thing then we will know how to thankful and appreciate when we are in healthy condition. We will never appreciate a success if we never fail. Through failures we will know how beautiful a success. Another illustration,  there is nothing special when we drink a water every day but water will be so special and precious if we found the water and drink it when we are really thirsty. We would know how nice “a sip of water in the oasis” when are already feel how painful a sunburn in the desert.

My beloved readers, I analogize the desert, a very unpleasant place as hard season in our lives which a lot of problems, trials, and tribulations and as a place to test us. In my personal lives, I look and feel that there is a time God allows His children get into “the desert” with the excruciating sand and painful sunburn. Being in the desert requires a hard work and more struggles. We are confronted by the challenge, a difficult situation, or even we have to face a failure. A  Situations where we will know that   human power, wealth, and intelligence are no longer have a meaning. During that time we should begin to aware that the only ways to survive in entirely rely on the Lord. There are so many great bible figures that had experienced times in the desert before they were incredibly used by God. Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, David, Paul, and other Jesus’ disciples, even Jesus Himself had to experience a hard time in the wilderness for a process.

Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)

The Israelites also had to pass through the desert for 40 years before they entered to the promise land.

Perhaps there are question arise in our minds, actually what for God allows His children get into “the desert” What is His purpose? Does God wants torture His children? Of course not! Actually God allows us get into the desert in order that we don’t become arrogant, He doesn’t want us have a wrong heart attitude, He wants us not lulled, spoiled and weak. When God permits us have a hard time with so many big problems, we forged to have strong spiritual muscles and learn to cling to God, learn and realize that every greatness we have is nothing, and later when we get out from the desert we will more able to appreciate life and the owner of this lives. God told:

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)

Not only allow us to get into the desert, there is a time God chose to keep silent when we are in the hard times. Why God keep silent? I remembered Rick Warren has said: “…If God is silent in your life right now; it’s a test of faith” Once again when God chose to keep silent doesn’t  mean He intends to let us to suffer or doesn’t  care about all our problems but He wants our faith grows significantly through a test. Without passing through the test in” the desert” we will become a weak Christians, easily to be arrogant, easily seduced by the world temptation and become a spoiled person because we would never know what the suffering is. It is important to us to be tested and trained to have a firm faith and really know that relying on God in every step of our lives is the very best way to passing through the experience in the desert. We will succeed or not will depend on how we behave. Do we remain steadfast or we even become fainthearted and our strength become small and weak.

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. (Proverb 24:10)

My beloved friends, maybe this time there are people around us that we love currently in “The desert” facing very hard tests, or maybe even ourselves also have the same situation. I really know that undergoing the test in” the desert” is not easy, very unpleasant, and it might be very painful. But this evening let me tell you one important thing; Even though God allows us to be in the desert to experience many of hard tests, please remember that we will never be left by God to face all of it alone. He promised that although in the hardest times He will keep up us as He kept His own eyes; He’ll always with us and will not forsake us.

“He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10)

And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31: 8)

We also will always be surrounded and ministered by angels like when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wild beasts.

And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. (Mark 1:13)

 Although God as if silent but actually he will never careless and He remain watching over us, He will never slumber and the God’s angel will encamp around us as Psalmist said:

Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:4)

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.( Psalm 34:7)

Testing process in the desert also will drain our energy and will make us weak and fall but God will uphold us with His hand.

Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:24)

And eventually, we will end the journey of “The desert test” beautifully as James reminds us:

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

Therefore this evening allow me to encourage all of us to don’t give up and don’t despair. Being in “The desert” is a process of spiritual maturation, make us strong and have unwavering faith. Any such of hard problems and trials may come to us but we have to remember and believe that:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Let’s continue to rely on the power of God in facing of the huge problems; do not rely on our own strengths, keep maintain our faith so we will end the good fight and finished the race as Paul said:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7) Amen

Going through our own deserts can make us like little flowers that spring up suddenly in the desert-signs of hope. Elouise

Karina – Living by faith

All Bible verses from New King James Version

Thank you very much to beloved blog and sister in Christ Elouise at https://tellingthetruth1993.wordpress.com/  for the quote.

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Enduring Within Temptation

Matthew 26 41

There are so many things that could be my inspiration to write an article or a short devotional. This evening my post was inspired by one of my friend who asked me to pray his problem.  He has a problem with temptation.  But perhaps for some reason he did not tells the details of what kind of temptation that he faced. Now I would like to write a bit of my thought about this matter.

 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 temptedhe will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

As a human we are born with a sinful nature from the fall of Adam. In our daily lives we will be faced with any temptation which could bring us into the sin. One important thing that we have to realize is temptation not come from God.  It comes from Satan! Satan brought it into our life. As we know Satan always works hard, continuing to try with many ways to make our fait fall. Moreover, temptation came from the flesh (Old sinful nature) and from the world who would like nothing more than to see a Christian be disobedient.

God really know that we will be tempted. For example, in the garden of Gethsemane shortly before Jesus was arrested, we are witnessing picture of how human are so susceptible controlled by fleshly. Many times Jesus found His disciples so hard to still be awake even for only one hour. Then Jesus said:  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(Matthew 26:41) But, what a blessing! Not only know, but God also provides us a means of escape. He will not allow the devil to put any more temptation on us than we can handle. The spirit within us can help us from falling into sin. We need to use caution in what we allow in our lives that could be a source of temptation. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16-17)

It is important for us to be on guard in our lives for our own protection. Sin is disobedience and God hates sin. We have to choice of whether to take the means of escape or to allow the sin to enter into our life. When we find that we are tempted by something immediately consider our means to run away from the temptation. For simple examples, if it is something we are watching on television, we can turn of the television off or we can change to the other channel which couldn’t bring us to be tempted.  If we have problem with gambling, don’t go to places that provides a means of gambling. For those that are tempted by alcohol, please do not spend time in a club or bar.  I said to my friend the point is not only how many friends who praying for him but the truly point is we should take measures to protect us and keep our distance from everything that could bring temptation. This is about how we endure to face any kind of temptation. We need to remain accountable to God for our actions.

My dear lovely readers, I am totally realized that it is not as easy as turning the palm of our hand. But God gave us the advice to be able to overcome our flesh: “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21) Establish ourselves with a solid foundation, on the basis of faith, praying in the Holy Spirit and continue to diligently maintain ourselves. God knows our primarily problem. Even though our spirits are born again, but our fleshly desires is also not less powerful and trained to always tend to return us to the passions and desires which would dropped us back into sin. We are awarded a Counselor; the Holy Spirit can guide our spirits to be in power within us than our flesh.

Let the spirit ruling in our lives. Pray in the Spirit. It was a powerful weapon to overcome the desires of the flesh. Pray in the Spirit will always be able to strengthen our spirits, continue to establish ourselves until we are able to overcome our weaknesses and conquer all flesh. Even the prayer in the Spirit also able to convey so many things that an unspoken.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)

Is there a sin that seems to have a strong hold in our life? Think about the ways in which we could make changes to reduce the possibility of being tempted by that sin. Go to God in prayer today asking forgiveness for any sin we have committed while asking him to help us to keep from all temptation. Also ask to God to us to build a firm foundation. Spend time with Him and with His word. A good Spiritual foundation can give us the tools to keep us from temptation and sin. Amen.

 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

Karina

Photo credit: Mount of Temptation at Jericho.palestinephilgrimage.org.uk

Many thanks to sister in Christ Shelly  http://sssorem.wordpress.com for your lovely sugestion on my post.

Unbreakable Faith

unbreakable faith

When the first time I read this story, I was deeply moved and very impressed on one figure in this true story. This story illustrates a 12 years old Japanese boy who has strength of faith so amazingly. Ibaragi Kun. He has unbreakable faith!

Japan. November 23, 1596 is the beginning of Christian persecution in Japan. Ibaragi Kun and twenty-six people were arrested in Kyoto, Japan and will be executed. At that time, there is a soldier took him aside and urges him to deny or recant his faith to save his life. Looking the soldier in the eye, Ibaragi said confidently, “Sir, it would be far better if you yourself became a Christian. Then you could go to heaven with me.” the soldier stared! Startled by Ibaragi faith and then Ibaragi said: Sir, where is my cross?

The soldier was bewildered and pointed to a small cross. The Young Ibaragi Kun ran to that cross, knelt before it and embraced the cross. When the soldiers began to nail his hands and feet to the cross, he did not cry out in pain. He courageously accepted the path God had laid out for him. Ibaragi died to defend the most precious thing in his life. For his faith and trust in God he willing to nailed at the cross along with twenty six other people.

My dear blog friends, how about the condition of our faith now? In this modern era we may not actually be forced to deny our faith and trust to God like Ibaragi, but we must realize that denial will come from the world’s temptations. The devil is never motionless. He will continue to strive to leach our faith and he expects finally we will forsake God. When our lives are hit by a lot of big problems and it seems God has not given a solution that’s when the devil works. He would offer so many wonderful way out to us. Satan will offer us a better life and set us free from all of problems. Was then that our faith is truly tested. If we remain steadfast in our faith or even slowly but sure our faith started to fades and finally we will deny God?

The story of Ibaragi Kun shows us that Ibaragi really understand the meaning of God’s word: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21). We do not need to be killed to prove the strength of our faith but the most important is how to keep our faith remain strong in the midst of a very difficult situation and when God seems not answer our prayer yet. When the devil temptation is come let we refer and remember to this Bible verse: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). This verse was clearly said that we must keep watching and always pray in order to not fall into the temptations and when our lives totally full of problems and trials lets we remember one of famous God’s promise to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28-30). Devil gives us the good way but our God give us the very best way among the best.

If we longing to have a faith that is always grow up, strengthened every day and have unbreakable faith like Ibaragi Kun? Or we will deny god, follow the devil for the sake of get a life which free from problems and trials but we fall into sin?

 “When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods.” (2 Kings 17:35-37) Amen.

Karina

Photo credit :truthworks.org

 

My Night Reflection

 

prayer-2

I may not understand clearly about every temptation that I faced. But as God said: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 I believe my Lord will not give me poisonous snake for those people who ask for bread. One thing that I should have to remember and embed in my deeply heart is everything that God has given to me, it all is so beautiful.

God’s hand was embroidering my life with a glorious and exalted creation. The time will become and I will behold the rainbow of His love.

 God, I am grateful for Your promises. You make me strong standing on all of life temptation. You make me courageous to face every tribulation. You make me more comprehend to Your plan and will.

Dear Lord in heaven, I ask you to take my sleep under your promises, so tomorrow when I wake up in the beautiful morning I will behold your glorious and exalted creation. Embroidery my dreams with your loving hand and let everything I get is just according to Your will and plan. Not mine. Send Your Holy angel, let me sleep on their arms and keep me in peace. And let your blessing be upon me. Amen

Karina

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