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Versuchungen

Versuchungen


“The devil, through his ordinary action, which is temptation, and through his extraordinary action, which is the subject of this book, tries to destroy the confidence of each man and each woman to love and to be loved.”
― Fr Gabriele Amorth, An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels


Aus christlicher Sicht ist Homosexualität nichts anderes als eine Versuchung - unabhängig von deren Ursachen im wissenschaftlichen Sinn.

Menschen wie Joe Dallas oder Tim Wilkins geben deshalb unumwunden zu, dass sie unter bestimmten Umständen immer noch von Männern sexuell gereizt werden oder eventuell sogar fallen könnten. Heißt das nun, all das Gerede über "Heilung" wäre Unsinn?

Keineswegs! Versuchung wird es immer geben. Selbst Jesus wurde versucht. Als Christinnen und Christen sind wir uns dessen durchaus bewusst. Uns ist aber auch klar, dass die Macht der Sünde durch Jesus am Kreuz gebrochen wurde.  Wir sind frei! Die Bibel warnt uns aber auch davor, unseren "Schutzschild" herunter zu lassen. Wir müssen immer auf der Hut sein - und das betrifft alle Christen. Ein fester Glaube, tägliches Bibellesen und Gebet sowie ein strukturiertes Leben in der Nachfolge Jesu Christi und in Gemeinschaft mit anderen Christen gibt uns die Kraft und den festen Boden, den wir brauchen, um nicht zu fallen - oder - sollte es doch geschehen - wieder die Kraft und den Glauben zu finden, aufzustehen.

Jesus hat uns nie gesagt, es würde leicht werden. Er hat nur gesagt, es wäre all die Mühe wert.

Er hat uns aufgefordert, uns selbst zu verleugnen, unser Kreuz auf uns zu nehmen und ihm nach zu folgen. Damit macht man sich heutzutage nicht unbedingt beliebt. Schnell gilt man als altmodisch, rückständig oder radikal. Als Christinnen und Christen aber wissen wir: es ist all die Mühe wert.


Der Frosch im heißen Wasser

Mit dem Sündigen ist es wie mit einem Frosch, den man in heißes aber in angenehm warmes Wasser setzt und langsam die Temperatur erhöht: Er wird gekocht, ohne dass er es überhaupt merkt. Genauso ist es mit der Versuchung zur Sünde: wenn wir uns immer wieder jeden Unsinn im Fernsehen ansehen, wenn wir nicht auf das achten, was wir sagen und wie wir es sagen, wenn wir auch bei der Auswahl unserer Freunde und Freizeitbeschäftigungen nicht unser Ziel und unseren Glauben im Auge haben, stumpfen wir immer mehr ab, wenn es darum geht, Sünde zu erkennen und zu vermeiden. Wir brauchen nur einmal die heutige Gesellschaft ansehen: vieles von dem, was uns heute überall in den Medien und im Alltag begegnet, wäre vor nicht allzu langer Zeit undenkbar gewesen! Offenbar sind wir schon so an das "heiße Wasser" gewohnt, dass wir eher die Bibel neu schreiben ("gemäß der heutigen Wissenschaft uminterpretieren") und eine 2.000-jährige Kirchengeschichte über den Haufen werfen, um das Rad neu zu erfinden - wir heute sind ja so viel schlauer als all die Menschen, die vor uns gelebt haben sowie intelligenter als der Schöpfer des Universums! Hierbei gibt es nur ein Problem: Jesus kommt wieder - zu einer Zeit, wo es keiner annimmt. Und die Begleitumstände Seiner Ankunft werden uns nicht gefallen...



Versuchung und Vergebung

Versuchung wird es immer geben. Es muss sie sogar geben. Auch christlicher Sicht trennt Versuchung die Spreu vom Weizen. Was wir dagegen tun können? Es gibt Waffen, die jede Versuchung meistern helfen: Das Wort Gottes und das inständige Gebet. Die "Rüstung", um in den Kampf zu ziehen - und zu gewinnen!

Als Christen dürfen wir auch auf Vergebung hoffen. Sogar wir, die wir viel und häufig gesündigt haben, dürfen Vergebung erfahren. Und wie Jesus uns bereits gesagt hat: wem viel vergeben wurde, der liebt Jesus auch umso mehr.

Wir sollten diese Vergebung also auch annehmen und uns selbst vergeben. Und im Gegenzug denen, die uns verletzt haben.

Dass wir mit unseren christlichen Prinzipien nicht immer auf Verständnis und Gegenliebe stoßen werden, hat uns Jesus ebenfalls klar gemacht - kurz bevor er ans Kreuz geschlagen wurde.

Wenn die Menschen schon damals so gehandelt haben, als das Holz noch grün war, wie werden sie erst handeln, wenn das Holz trocken ist...



"Warum ist Versuchung so attraktiv, erbarmungslos und mächtig? (...) Sicher könnte Gott es einfacher für uns machen (...) Ich sage nicht, dass Gott uns dazu bringt, zu sündigen; noch versucht Er uns wie Satan das tut (...) Aber Gott stellt uns auf die Probe; Er erlaubt es auch, dass Satan uns versucht. Warum? Versuchung - mit all ihren furchterregenden Möglichkeiten für ein Versagen - ist Gottes Methode, um unsere Loyalität zu testen. Wir können nicht behaupten, wir würden jemanden lieben, bis wir einige harte Entscheidungen zu seinen Gunsten getroffen haben. Entsprechend können wir auch nicht sagen, wir würden Gott lieben, bis wir NEIN zu den andauernden Versuchungen gesagt haben (...) Gott erlaubt uns den Luxus der schwierigen Wahl, damit wir unsere Liebe zu Ihm beweisen können. Das sind unsere Möglichkeiten, Gott anstelle der Welt zu wühlen." (Erwin M. Lutzer, How To Say No To a Stubborn Habit)



"Wenn du einen Hund siehst, der zwei Männern hinterher läuft," sagt Ralph Erskine in einer seiner Predigten, "weißt du nicht, zu wem er gehört, solange die beiden zusammen gehen; aber lasse sie zu einer Kreuzung kommen und getrennte Wege gehen, dann wirst du wissen, wer der Herr des Hundes ist. So gehen auch Religion und die Welt manchmal Hand in Hand. Ein Mann kann die Welt haben - und gleichzeitig einen religiösen Beruf. Dann können wir nicht sagen, wer der Herr des Mannes ist - Gott oder die Welt; aber warte, bis der Mann zu einer Kreuzung kommt und die Welt nach ihm ruft. Gott ruft ihn hierhin ? die Welt dorthin. Wenn Gott sein Herr ist, folgt er der Religion und lässt die Welt gehen; aber wenn die Welt sein Herr ist, dann folgt er der Welt und deren Lust und lässt Gott, Gewissen und Religion gehen." (John Whitecross, The Shorter Catechism Illustrated).


Versuchung

Versuchung ist ein Anreiz, etwas sittiich Unvollkommenes oder gar Sündhaftes zu tun oder etwas pflichtgemäßes zu unterlassen. Sie kann hervorgehen von der eigenen durch die Erbsünde geschwächten Natur und ihrem ungeordneten Begehren nach irdischen Gütern (Augenlust)[1] oder nach unrechtmäßiger Befriedigung der sinnlichen Triebe des Geschmackssinnes und des Geschlechtstriebes (Fleischeslust)[2] oder nach der Ehre (Hoffart), oder sie kann vom Teufel oder von der Umwelt veranlasst sein. Die Versuchung ist noch keine Sünde, solange der Mensch sich ihr nicht unnötig aussetzt oder frei nachgibt und schließlich einwilligt. Eine überwundene Versuchung stählt die Widerstandskraft gegen die Versuchung, ist ein Beweis der Treue gegen Gott und vermehrt das Verdienst. Aus diesem Grunde läßt Gott die Versuchung über die Menschen kommen.

Das Wachen (vgl. Lk 22,46 EU) und das einhalten der Gebote (vgl. Offb 3,10 EU) bewahrt vor der Versuchung. Gott wird "in der Versuchung einen Ausweg schaffen", sodass wir nicht überfordert werden und bestehen können (vgl. 1 Kor 10,13 EU).

Im Vater unser (Mt 6,13 EU) betet der Christ, Gott möge ihn in der Versuchung führen. Zu dieser Interpretation gibt die aramäische Sprache und ebenso der Jakobusbrief Anlass.
Sinn und Wesen der Versuchung in der Bibel

"Seid voll Freude, meine Brüder, wenn ihr in mancherlei Versuchungen geratet. Ihr wisst, dass die Prüfung eures Glaubens Ausdauer bewirkt. Die Ausdauer aber soll zu einem vollendeten Werk führen; denn so werdet ihr vollendet und untadelig sein, es wird euch nichts mehr fehlen" (Jak 1,2-4 EU).
"Glücklich der Mann, der in der Versuchung standhält. Denn wenn er sich bewährt, wird er den Kranz des Lebens erhalten, der denen verheißen ist, die Gott lieben. Keiner, der in Versuchung gerät, soll sagen: Ich werde von Gott in Versuchung geführt. Denn Gott kann nicht in die Versuchung kommen, Böses zu tun, und er führt auch selbst niemand in Versuchung. Jeder wird von seiner eigenen Begierde, die ihn lockt und fängt, in Versuchung geführt. Wenn die Begierde dann schwanger geworden ist, bringt sie die Sünde zur Welt; ist die Sünde reif geworden, bringt sie den Tod hervor" (Jak 1,12-15 EU).

Jesus wurde nicht durch Begierde, sondern durch den Teufel für uns[3] in Versuchung geführt. Er musste "in allem seinen Brüdern gleich sein, um ein barmherziger und treuer Hoherpriester vor Gott zu sein und die Sünden des Volkes zu sühnen (Hebr 2,18 EU). "Wir haben ja nicht einen Hohenpriester, der nicht mitfühlen könnte mit unserer Schwäche, sondern einen, der in allem wie wir in Versuchung geführt worden ist, aber nicht gesündigt hat" (Hebr 4,15 EU). So kann er "denen helfen, die in Versuchung geführt werden" (Hebr 2,18 EU).


Anmerkungen

↑ vgl. 1 Tim 6,9 EU
↑ vgl. auch Mk 14,38 EU; 1 Kor 7,5 EU
↑ vgl. Mt 4,1-11 EU; Lk 4,1-13 EU; Mk 1,12-13 EU

(Quelle: http://www.kathpedia.com/index.php?title=Versuchung)





Temptation

(Latin tentare, to try or test).

Temptation is here taken to be an incitement to sin whether by persuasion or by the offer of some good or pleasure. It may be merely external, as was the case of Christ's encounter in the desert after the forty days' fast; or it may be internal as well, inasmuch as there is a real assault upon a person's will power. It arises sometimes from the propensity to evil inherent in us as a result of original sin. Sometimes it is directly chargeable to the intervention of the Devil, who can furnish the imagination with its sinful subject-matter and stir up the lower powers of the soul. Not infrequently both causes are at work. Temptation is not in itself sin. No matter how vivid the unholy image may be, no matter how strong the inclination to transgress the law, no matter how vehement the sensation of unlawful satisfaction, as long as there is no consent of the will, there is no sin. The very essence of sin in any grade is that it should be a deliberate act of the human will. Attack is not synonymous with surrender. This, while obvious enough, is important especially for those who are trying to serve God sedulously and yet find themselves beset on all sides by temptations. They are apt to take the fierceness and repetition of the onset as proof that they have fallen. A wise spiritual guide will point out the error of this conclusion and thus administer comfort and courage to these harassed souls.

Temptations are to be combated by the avoidance, where possible, of the occasions that give rise to them, by recourse to prayer, and by fostering within oneself a spirit of humble distrust of one's own powers and of unbounded confidence in God. The resistance which a Christian is bound to offer need not always be direct. Sometimes, particularly when there is question of reiterated evil interior suggestions, it may be useful to employ an indirect method, that is, to simply ignore them and quietly divert the attention into another channel. Temptations as such can never be intended by God. They are permitted by Him to give us an opportunity of practising virtue and self mastery and acquiring merit. The fact of temptation, no matter how large it looms in a person's life, is not an indication that such an one is under the ban. Indeed those whom God calls to special heights of sanctity are just those who may expect to have to wrestle bravely with temptations more numerous and fearsome than fall to the lot of the average mortal.
Sources

LEHMKUHL, Theologia moralis (Freiburg, 1887); MÜTZ, Christliche Ascetik (Paderborn, 1907); HENSE, Die Versuchungen (Freiburg, 1884); SCARAMELLI, Directorium asceticum.
About this page

APA citation. Delany, J. (1912). Temptation. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved December 31, 2018 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14504a.htm

MLA citation. Delany, Joseph. "Temptation." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 31 Dec. 2018 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14504a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.org. Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

(Source: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14504a.htm)


What if I have a powerful same-sex drive? Why shouldn't I go for it? I can't stay alone for the rest of my days! Why can't I be happy too? - All questions that do have a real and sometimes painful background. So how about it? Let's start with the powerful sex-drive. The temptation is strong, if that drive has built up for many years - maybe because you had nobody to talk to and/or saw no other alternative than to finally yield. However, if there is one thing I had learned during the many years in the gay scene involving many sexual encounters with men and sexual practices you might not even heard of, then it is this: If you think you can quench that thirst from your sex drive by "going for it", then you better forget that right now. It's not going to happen. On the contrary: Once you break a taboo, the next one will be so much easier to get out of the way. Once you try to still your sexual drive by having sex with members of the same sex, you tasted blood and will want more. And more. And more. Being "creative" will become the new norm - and your life will turn around "being gay". If you think that is fun, let me tell you this: Yea, at the beginning it is like a wall crumbling down. "Finally I can be myself!" (much later you might realize that this was only a very distorted picture of yours). That big high, however, will soon make way for embitterness. You don't want to go there. There are reasons why you have those same sex attractions. Many different factors contributed to the development of your ssa - and need to be dealt with. Also there are legitimate physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs behind your attractions. Those needs need to be adressed and satisfied a healthier way. Keeping all of that in mind, it is irresponsible to just forget about all that and tell people to "go for it". That is cheap. Seeking the quick fix will quench your thirst for a short time, numb the pain and help you forget about things - much like a drug addict does by getting loaded. However, sex does not heal and on the long rund things will get much worse. You exchange true satisfaction for the easy way out.

But what about having to stay alone for the rest of your days? If you mean "lonely" by "alone", then let me remind you that you can - and likely will - be very lonely in the gay scene. Being "alone" is something different. It is a gift that Jesus often used when He went out in the desert to pray. We need to be alone at times to spend some good quality time with ourselves and with God. To be able to be alone is a true treasure. Ever since I left the gay scene, I found times to be "alone", but most of the time the Lord grants me time to spend with the many true friends He brought into my life ever since and with the people He leads to me to help them get back on their feet again. I have never been less "lonely" than since I had left the gay life. I have found a true meaning and purpose in life and also my life has changed in all areas.

So what about "being happy"? I think it is a big misconception in today's culture and society that once with throw something in the "love"- or "being happy"-pool, everything is fine. No, it isn't. Being "happy" is not a criteria that something is good or morally acceptable. An alcoholic who just had a bottle of wodka might say he is "happy" now. A family father might have just left his wife and kids to live with his new girlfriend, "love" her and be "happy" with her for the rest of his days - it would still be unacceptable adultery in a Christian's eyes. Following Christ will give you true joy and tell you about the difference between "being happy" and finding that joy only God can give. And please don't mistake love for a fuzzy feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a covenant where one person gives himself or herself (reflecting Christ's life-giving covenant with His bride, the Church) and where the two take the willful decision to stay together for their whole lives to become one flesh again. Again? Yes, our sexual drive hints back to the beginnings, where Eve was taken from Adam's flesh. This drive seeks that union back again - becoming one flesh. So much one you have to give this "one" a name nine months after.

To cut it short: I know it isn't easy to leave the gay life. It can be very scary as you have no idea what you signed up for and where this will take you. So for the beginning I give you this piece of advice: Scratch together the little faith and trust you can find in you and put it on God. And then let yourself fall and begin the journey - step by step. God has never broken any of His promises. He will be with you every second of the way and lead you out of this. Promised.
Thoughts to Ponder...
I asked
God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience.

God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

 I asked God to spare me pain. 
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own! ,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.


Overcoming Temptation

Is there any one here who has never been tempted?

We are all tempted throughout our lives in one way or another.
Temptation comes in many forms.

Temptation is the world's oldest problem.

It's been around since the time of Adam & Eve in the garden.

We all have our weaknesses, in which we are often tempted to step over the boundary.

For some of you temptation may be in overeating, lust or a myriad of many other things.

We all have certain areas in our lives in which we need help to control.
The good news is that God wants to help you gain control of those areas of your life that you struggle with.

Temptation unfortunately, hinders & stops spiritual growth.



Example of Temptation

Here is an example of temptation and the result of what happens when we succumb to it.

Most of us have maybe done it ourselves as children, or know of someone who has.

You know the story.

Mom has just finished baking a fresh batch of your favorite cookies.

You walk into the kitchen drawn in by the luscious aroma of freshly baked cookies.

You mention to mom how wonderful it smells, hoping that she will offer you one to eat immediately.

But to your dismay, she tells you not to eat any. They are for lunch.
Mom steps out the door to check on the laundry.

Meanwhile you hang around the kitchen soaking in the aroma of your favorite cookie, still warm.

You pace around the kitchen constantly keeping the tray of cookies in your sight.

"Mmmmmm if I could only have just one", you say to yourself.
"If I have only one, mom won't notice." You say to your self.

Gradually your feet begin to shuffle towards the cookies.

And before you know it, you have one in your mouth.

And as luck would have, who should walk into the kitchen just as you about to swallow.

Mom, being as moms usually are, asks the silly question, "What's that cookie doing in your mouth?"

You look up at her and immediately try to find a quick logical answer that will get you off the hook.

And you reply; "Mom, I climbed up to the counter, and wouldn't you know it. A cookie got stuck in my mouth."



What's the Good News?

The good news about temptation is that God had offered a way to overcome temptation.

1 Cor. 10:13 tells us "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (King James Version)

What this verse is saying is, that no matter what the temptation that you are faced with, you are not alone.

All of mankind faces the same problems.

All are tempted. Temptation is normal.

We are all tempted in the same ways.


But! That is not all.

There is still a comforting message in this verse. God promises us that He will help us out. He will not allow us to struggle with the temptation on our own. Nor will He allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle.

People will often say that they just couldn't help it when they fell into temptation.
Not so. God says you can overcome any situation, regardless of the temptation.
God has given us everything we need to overcome temptation. If you yield to temptation, it is because you chose to do so.

We will look at how God helps us to overcome temptation a little later.
But first, let us look at some important facts about temptation.


Facts About Temptation

1. God tests us to develop our faith, our endurance and our character.
2. Satan tempts us to sin in order to destroy our lives & our relationship with God.
3. Temptation occurs when we feel compelled to satisfy or fulfill our God given desires in an ungodly & unlawful way.

Verse 12 of James chapter 1 says: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." (King James Version)

Blessed in this verse is translated from the Greek word "mak-ar-ee-os", which literally means "Happy".
We therefore could translate this to say; "Happy is the man who endures temptation,"

Why so?

Because there is a reward for enduring temptation.

Happiness comes when you have your life under control.
Your life is under control when you no longer have sinful bad habits, which control your life.

When you are able to say no to temptation, you are a much happier person.

Our verse continues to say that there is “A Crown of Life” for those who endure, overcome temptation.


The reward for enduring and overcoming temptations is "Life".
Life eternally and life now, a happy abundant life.
When you learn to say "NO" to temptation you begin to live life, as God wants us to.

The Question Now is; "How do I handle temptation?"
How do I say no when I want to say yes?

James tells us how to conquer and overcome temptation.

The process begins, by first having an understanding of the problem of Temptation.


1. We need to understand the problem of temptation

The best way to defeat an enemy is to know them well & to know their strategies.
So in order to learn how to overcome temptation, we need to know all we can about it.


What is Temptation?

My Unger's Bible Dictionary describes temptation as: "the enticement of a person to commit a sin by offering some seeming advantage."

Another definition given is; "The solicitation or an invitation to do evil. It is an opportunity presented to you to do something wrong."


For example it is good for you to pass a test in school. But, it is wrong if you cheated in order to pass the test.

The test may be the trial, but the decision to cheat is a “SIN”.

James himself in scripture gives the best definition we have about temptation.

He writes; "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14. King James Version)
And continuing, verse 15; "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1:15. King James Version)


There are three sources of temptation.

They are Satan, the world, and the flesh.
We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time.
Temptation in actual fact comes from within.
It craves the gratification that is offered from without; then when it has conceived, it brings forth sin.




The contest of the regenerate man

There is a continual battle going on within every born again Christian.
The flesh is in constant opposition to the spirit of a regenerated man.
And at the same time the Holy Spirit is continually moving, enticing the new man to oppose the desires of the flesh.
The trials of the flesh however, come from without.
They are in the things the flesh sees and desires.


2. Let's be realistic about our temptations!

The fact of the matter is as a Christian you will be tempted to sin.
We are all tempted to sin.
It is not a matter of if, is a matter of when.
Temptations are inevitable.
Every day, one way or the other, we are all tempted to sin.
You are never too old.
You do not over come it by becoming more spiritual.
The fact of the matter is, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, or how close to God you are, we all are tempted to sin.
In fact, the closer you get to God, the more you will be tempted.

There is a common misconception among Christian that says, that once you are born again, you have got it all together.
Welcome to reality folks.
Can any of you say that you have got it all together?
I doubt it.
Do you remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says; "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man" (NKJV)
You see, there it is, we’re all in the same boat.
We all have the same temptations, the same problems.

It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation in itself is not a sin.

Heb. 4:15 tells us; "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (NKJV)

Jesus was perfect. He too was tempted. But he never gave in to temptation.
It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give in to it.

Often times, many of us think things that pop into our minds without meaning to.

Where do these thoughts come from?

They come from the Devil himself.
It is not your fault.

But if you continue to dwell on these thoughts and act on them, then you have sinned.


3. How Does God Deliver Us from Temptation?

So how does God help us to be delivered from temptation?

Let me give you five ways in which God helps to deliver us from temptation.

1. Don't let the devil bully you around

Eph. 6:10-11 says "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (King James Version)

Satan's # 1 strategy is to intimidate you.

He does this first of all putting nasty thoughts into your mind and then tries to make you feel guilty about them

You know how it is.

You could be sitting in the church, just as you are now, and bang, just like that, suddenly some awful blasphemous thought pops into your head.
You don't know where it came from. You didn't spend time trying to draw up some nasty things to think of.

But the devil, ooooooh, he is a nasty little fellow.
He steps up on your shoulder and starts making you feel guilty about the very thoughts that he has put into your head.

You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.
Likewise, you cannot stop the devil from putting bad thoughts into your head, but you can reject them.
Guess what friends; you do not need to be feeling guilty about bad thoughts that pop into your mind.

It's not your fault.

The only thing you can do about these bad thoughts is to reject them.
Don't allow the devil to intimidate you; don’t let him bully you around.
Scripture tells us: "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Gal 5:16. NKJV)

Temptation unfortunately is normal, so don’t be intimidated by them, simply reject it, and remember where the source of it is from.

Put on the full armor of God and stand up to him.


2. Pray for Help

Ps. 50:15 tells us: "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." (NKJV)

Prayer is only a breath away. And help from the Lord is just that close.

He promised to help us if we will be pray, call upon Him

Is not temptation as good a time as ever to call upon Him for help?

Let's face it folks there are very many situations when we are tempted to do something wrong.

For example, how about that time you were tempted to lie on your income tax, or perhaps to retort sarcastically to your boss.


Or how about you parents?

Have you never been tempted to sin against your children when you had it up to here with them for one day?

Sure, there are many situations when we have been tempted to sin in one way or another.

God asks us to call for help in times like these.

And why not?

Since as Heb. 4:15-16 says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (King James Version)

Because He Himself was tempted, yet did not sin, Jesus is able to help us when we to are tempted.

Therefore let us go boldly to the throne of grace and ask help in prayer from the one who has Himself, been tempted and yet overcame.


3. Refocus Your Thoughts!

If temptation begins with our inner thoughts, then changing what you are thinking is the key to overcoming temptation.

We have a great verse taken from Phil. 4:8 which helps us with our thinking.

Paul writes, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (King James Version)

Look also at Prov. 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." (King James Version)

In other words folks when in times of temptation, turns your thoughts away from the bad and onto the good things which are holy, pure- & good.

Focus on God's goodness.


If you are on a diet and you start telling yourself, "I am hungry, I am hungry."

What is it you are focusing on?

You are focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.

It has your attention, so obviously you are not going to be able to stop the craving for food because you have your full attention wholly on food.

The more you think about something, the more it has a stronger hold on you.

Therefore the key here is to refocus your thoughts on something entirely different.

You have to shift gears, change the channel.

Likewise sometimes when you are tempted it may be necessary to literally turn and run, just like Joseph had to do when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him.

You may also have to change the channel on the T.V. or shut it off if the programming is filthy.

I have walked out a movie house at the beginning of a movie because the first few lines were extremely vulgar.

Walk away from people who are telling crude and filthy jokes.

If you don't want to get stung by bees, sometimes you have to get up and run.

If you are tempted to blow up in anger, you may need to walk away from the situation until you cool off.

No matter what it is that has got a hold your attention, if it si wrong refocus your attention or flee from it if you have to.


4. Share Your Struggles With A Close Trusted Friend

Many of us struggle with the same sin day in & day out.

Sometimes a Christian will carry the same struggle for many years.

You know what, IT HURTS!

IT'S PAINFUL!

I KNOW ! IV’E BEEN THERE, DONE THAT & EVEN BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT!

Friends, you don't have to carry that heavy load by yourself.

James tells us in Chpt 5:16, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (King James Version)

If I were a betting man, I would wager that even right now, in this room, some of you are even now carrying a load that you have been struggling with for a very long time.

We’ve all at times carried emotional, mental & spiritual hurts, sometimes for too long.

God, through His servant James tells us to confess these things one with another.

Why, so that we may be healed.

Be open, honest and transparent with someone you can trust.

We are all in the same boat. We all have personal struggles.

The problem here is that Satan would have you to think that your problem is unique only to yourself.
He wants you to think that you are all alone by yourself in this struggle.

Guess what?

The chances are real good that someone else in this very room may be struggling with the same problems as you are.


Admit your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.

The question now is, Do you want to be healed or not?

Do you want to get over the pain?

What's the key? Don't repress it, confess it.
Don't conceal it, reveal it.
By revealing your struggles with a close friend, you begin the process of healing.

Why should you confess your sins one to another?
Because once you do, the power that it once had over you begins to fade away.
When you begin to talk about a problem it no longer has control over you.
If there is a situation, a problem, a struggle in your life that you can’t talk about, it has control over you.
It is out of control.

If you can’t even talk about it, it is out of control.
It has power over you.

If you are having problem with your marriage & you cannot talk about it, it is out of control.

If you are having problems in school & you can’t talk about it, it is out of control.

If you have problems with your kids or a gutter mouth and you don’t want to talk about,

Guess what!

That's right. It is out of control.


The very moment that you begin to talk about your problems, you begin to take back ground.

You begin to gain control over that situation.
When you do so you will have a feeling of liberation, of freedom.

You wanna know why?

Because when you do, you will find others saying that they to have been struggling with the same feelings.


Contrary to what the devil would have you believe, you are not alone.
Not only do you have friends here on earth to share your struggles with, but you also have an advocate in heaven.

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1 King James Version)

& Remember this also;

1 John 1: 9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)


Finally My friends,

5. Resist the Devil, the Tempter

James 4:7 says,"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (King James Version)

Did you notice that there are two parts to this verse that we must do?

Submit to God.
This means that we must be subject to Him.
We must be ready to listen to Him.
We must be ready to obey Him.
We must repent.
We must not be proud & stiff-necked.

Then we must resist the devil.
We do this by closing our ears & hearts to his suggestions & temptations.
We do it also by using the Scriptures as the Sword of the Spirit to repel him.
If we resist him he will flee from us.

Eph. 6: 17 tells us to, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (King James Version)

In this whole analogy which actually begins in verse 11 we are commanded to "Put on the whole armour of God." (King James Version)

Remember friends we are fighting a battle in our minds that is not between flesh & blood but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Eph. 6:12 (King James Version)

We must be ready at all times to do battle. This whole analogy is a reminder to be spiritually dressed, to be spiritually prepared to do battle every moment of your life.

The problem is that too many of us are like spiritual streakers.

We get up in the morning and head off to work or to wherever, and we do not put on the armor of God to protect and prepare ourselves for the battle that lies ahead for us each & every day.

We have a tendency to start our day and often go the whole day without the Word of God.

We neglect the spiritual armor found in the Bible & in prayer.

When we do, the devil laughs at us because we are no threat to him. And we leave ourselves wide open to his fiery darts v:16

Getting back to Eph. 6:17, why are told to take the "helmet of salvation" (King James Version)


What does a helmet do for you?

It protects your head.
The battle for temptation is fought where?
In the mind.
Therefore the helmet of salvation protects the mind against the fiery darts of the devil.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have left your mind wide open to all the temptations and fiery darts of Satan.

You have absolutely no resistance whatsoever.
It's like an open freeway to your mind.
You have no protection at all.

However when you are saved & become a believer, God gives your head protection, the helmet of salvation to protect your mind.

But you have to wear it.

I can go out and jump on a snowmobile or a motorbike.
But if I do no put on a helmet, I have got nothing to protect my pumpkin from a crash.


Likewise if I begin my day without some scripture reading and prayer, I have left my mind unprotected.

Next James tells us to also take our sword of the Spirit with us.
Which is what? The Word of God.
In other words fill your mind with the Word of God.

Another weapon, or antidote against temptation is God's Word.

John 8:31 & 32 reminds us, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (King James Version)

Do you remember what Jesus did in the desert when he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil?

In all three cases Jesus said, "it is written" & He quoted scripture to fend of Satan.

The Word of God likewise is also ours to use as a sword against the devil.

The best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about growing and becoming all that God would have you to be is to memorize scripture.


The Bible is worthless to you if all it does is to sit on the shelf & collect dust.
You need to read it, to use it, to study it, to memorize it.

But if you have scripture hidden deep in your heart, you can use it in times of temptation.

Ps. 119:11 reads, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (New International Version, ©2011)

Scripture memorization is not just for pastors, teachers, Awana club kids, but for everyone.

If you are serious about doing something about temptation, I challenge you to begin today to memorize scripture.


Conclusion

It was Martin Luther who said that you cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.
You cannot live without temptation, but you can choose to do something about it.

Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin when you dwell on it long enough that it eventually begins to take root into your heart and mind.

You have the choice to resist it and put on the helmet of salvation, think upon things of God.

You can only think upon the things of God if you immerse yourself daily in scripture and in prayer.

You can only resist the devil if you know the truth and the truth resides deep in your heart soul & mind.

And the truth shall set you free.

Remember that you also need the fellowship of other believers to help you fight he battle.

Share your struggles with others that they may help in the healing process.

What is the reward, the payoff?

James 1:12 "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (New International Version, ©2011)

André


Crucified

Hello Guys

I've been meaning to share this with you for some time now but I figured that I've already said so much, I didn't want to overload you.

This is something that totally transformed my life and has made my walk with the Lord so much better. Ever since I was taught this truth, I have gained new insight and victory into areas I found problematic in my life.

As you may have noticed, I'm not perticulary keen on focusing exclusively on sexuality. Such an approach I believe gives the impression that we're one dimensional (which we are not!) and it also alienates us from the rest of believers. I shall therefore present this teaching not just in an effort to help you understand your struggles with sexuality better, but that you may also understand other areas of your self better.

Colossians 3:2-3 says: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (King James Version)

I don't know about you, but I never really understood this passage of Scripture and all the others that also speak of believers dying very well. I understood the atonement of Yeshua on the Cross for our sins and ressurection well, but I never understood when the apostle Paul refered to himself as being dead, especially when he says he's been crucified with Christ. Being very analytical person by nature, I attempted many times to solve this mystery on my own, but without much success. So I waited on God to shed some light on the subject.

Was I blown out of my socks when I was explained the meaning of this concept. Dr. Ed Murphy, in his book, Handbook for Spiritual Warfare, explains this glorious truth so beautifully. For the first time I realized what Scripture meant when it says believers died.

So who died? The old man. "But if the old man is dead," you ask, "How come I still have sinful desires of all sorts?" Here comes the best part. When you expereinced new birth, the old you (in my case the old Adam) was supernaturally crucified with Christ on the cross. If you think I'm exaggerating, read Romans 6:5-7:

"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." (King James Version)

This is the beauty of the gospel. Old Tom, old John, old Henry, etc., have all been crucified. They no longer exist. They're all dead. The sexually broken man that you once were, was killed and done away with the minute you accepted Him as your Saviour, when you first believed. Even if you backslidded, the old self was not resurected.
(I shall explain this later as we go along.) That's not all, Scripture tells that when this old man was destroyed, `you received a new man or new nature `was given to you. Scripture says that you are now "born of God". (1 John 5:18-19. King James Version).

"But I still have so much sinful desires!" you say. "My flesh is very much still alive. My battles with pornography, sexuality is still very much alive and real. Does it now then mean that I have not been crucified with Christ and therefore not born again?" Absolutely not. If you trust in Jesus as your Saviour, you are born again. "But how come the sinful desires of my flesh are yet still alive?"

If you read Romans 6:5-7 again, you'll see the Bible talks about your old self that was crucified and not your physical flesh. (Rom. 7:14-23) The two are totally different from one another.Your flesh on the other hand is still very much alive. The old self is that Adamic cursed wicked part of you that could do nothing else but sin. The way I see it, this old self was personified just as the new man is personified, just as the flesh is personified (Gal.5:19-21). It therefore wasn't a force or some impersonal energy but a person with will, desires and mind. It's difficult to understand but nevertheless fascinating.

Neil T Anderson explains our new state of affairs so wisely. He writes that the flesh is the tendency that is in every person and pushes us to act independent of God and to focus only on ourselves. This is how an unsaved person acts - worshipping the creature more than the Creator. However, those who are born again are different. Their old self died and their new self lives now. As we might have spent years far away fro God, secular experiences shaped our brain with things that are not of God. So even though our old self is dead, our flesh still works against God - or independent from God. (Neil T. Anderson, "The Bondage Breaker". Harvest House Publ. ISBN-10: 0736918140. ISBN-13: 978-0736918145):


"The flesh is the tendency within each person to operate independant of God and to center his interest on himself. An unsaved person functions totally in the flesh (Romans 8:7-8), worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25) When you are born again, your old self died and your new self came to life...{but} during the years you spent separated from God, your worldly experiences thorougly programmed your brain with thought patterns, memory traces, responces and habits which are alien to God. So even
though your OLD SKIPPER* is gone, your flesh remains in opposition to God as a preprogrammed propensity from sin, which is living independant of God" Bondage Braker (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 199) pg 79-80 *-capital letters MINE

When one reads this you begin to understand why unsaved people can do nothing but sin. They have a corrupted "person" that is riding on the back of the flesh- that is also unredeemable. However, we who have received a new nature, through new birth, who desire the things of the Spirit, no longer have an excuse to continue in sin. That is why 1 John 3:9 says:

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (King James Version)

We were once utter slaves to sin, but now we've been giving a new man that can do and choose the things of God. Our old selves couldn't.
Do you see the implications? We no longer have to battle with the old man. He's dead. We still however have to battle with our flesh, that is totally corrupt. Furthermore, our brains must also be given new software becuase it still runs on old evil software. This is where sanctification comes in. Please listen to me. I don't care what any body says, sanctification is not an easy process! I get so fed up when I hear well known 'Christian' speakers tell people that they can change their lives instantly. They give you a formulas and principles (that usually involves money) and guarantee that you will be healed, you will be blessed, you will receive a break through.

Thirty years ago David Martin Lloyed-Jones in his book "The Christian Warfare: An Exposition of Ephesians 6:10 to 13" (Baker Pub Group. ISBN-10: 0801055741. ISBN-13: 978-0801055744), wrote about cults offering an instant blessing. This short cut allows them to win adherents. There is no growth concerning grace or growth in the knowlegde of the Lord. Also no mentioning of salvation with fear and trembling. You go to perfection in an instant. No problems, no struggle, no difficulties:

"Another great characteristic of the cults is that they offer you a cure, the blessing all at once. It is the short cut method always; that is why it wins adherents...the cults do not talk about 'growth in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord'; they do not talk about work out your salvation with fear and trembling'; and there is no mortification of the body and of the flesh. It is immediate arrival at perfection; and all you have to do is to keep you there. All problems have gone, there is no struggle left, there is no difficulty to solve; it has all been done and done at once. Short cuts!"


I mention this because I know false expectations lead to discouragement and discouragement ultimately, if not dealt with correctly, will lead to backslidding. It is my prayer that none of you will ever backslide into your old lives. That is why I want you to know that your road to freedom will be difficult and will involve actve fighting, struggling and resisting on your part. Better know what you're up against than to be caught off guard. I urge you not listen to the fools who promise you quick rememdies through useless formulas and vain Christain pop psychology. Forgive me if I sound harsh but when I see so many people being led astray by mere salesmanship, my blood begins to boil.

Even though our walk may not an easy walk, it is a blessed walk nevertheless. From my own experience, I can truly say that it's been worth the while. It's been extremely difficult at times but also glorious! Christ has really given us life and life in abundance. He has also given us the tools to fight for our inheritance. Where we once didn't have a chance against sexual struggles in our former states (before salvation), we now can supernaturally voluntary choose the things of the Spirit through our new man/nature.

If Satan has been condemming you about your recent failures by telling you that you arn't really a Christian because of your weak state, listen to this. If you thought you're still the same old perverted little dude you were before you got saved, listen to this. If you still despise yourself for the things you allowed yourself to do, listen to this wonderful timeless advice by Dr. D.M. Lloyed-Jones. He talks about the truth that as Christians we are already saved, We have already died with Jesus. We are already "in Christ". We have been crucified with Him. This cruxifixion is not something we have to do. It happened already! We have been crucified - one and for ever! And as we died with Christ, we have also been risen with Him. That's why satan attacks us so that we loose our confidence in our complete security in Jesus.


This is the finest tonic for any weak Christian....Remind yourself of the truth about yourself as a Christian, that you are already saved, that you ahve already died with Christ, that you are 'in Christ', that you will never be more saved spiritually than you are now. If you are a Christian at all, you are 'in Christ', you have been crucified with Him. Thus to be crucified is is not something you have to do, 'having believed'. Romans tell us what has happened to us, not what should happen to us. 'You have been'- it is in the aorist tense. 'Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Christ' once and for ever. Remind yourself of that . Remind yourself that, as you died with Christ, you have also risen with Him, that you are seated with Him in the heavenly places, and that the devil is therefore attacking you in order to shake your confidence in your complete security in Christ." Dr. D.M Lloyed-Jones


Paul says, "And such were some of you." (1 Cor. 6:9-11. King James Version. Emphasis added).

Begin to realize that you have been given a new nature that genuinely wants to do the things of the Spirit. Your old self is dead. Even though you may still do things that may be wrong, you can and never will be the sinner you used to be. Relapses are merely a sign of a need of sanctification (removing old programs that your old skipper installed) and not salvation. If you are also truly born again, you will eventually repent of a certain sin. Why? Because you've been given the ability to repent through the Spirit that now lives in you that empowers you.
We really have no excuses not to live holy lives.

My God open the understanding of our hearts and continue to lead to freedom from all bondages.

Grace to you all

André