Overcoming temptation

2020-07-25
Matthew 26:41 NKJV

Why did Jesus tell His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”? Because He knows that without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, we’re not equal to the temptations that come our way. Jesus didn’t doubt the disciples’ love for Him or their willingness to serve Him, but He knew they couldn’t do it in their own strength. And you can’t either. When you fight the flesh in the power of the flesh, you end up fighting yourself – and you lose every time. Note the words “lest you enter into temptation.” You’ll never be exempt from temptation, but you don’t have to “enter into” it. Indeed, your regenerated spirit can’t “enter into” it because sin has no appeal to it. But your unregenerated “flesh” will always be attracted to sin. And becoming a Christian increases the frequency, variety, and intensity of the temptations you face. Why? Because Satan, “the tempter,” doesn’t give up control easily. He will fight you constantly, and on different fronts. The Bible speaks of “manifold temptations” (1 Peter 1:6 KJV). The word “manifold” means there are “many kinds” of temptation. What’s the answer? “Manifold grace!” (1 Peter 4:10 KJV). The moment temptation rears its head, and before you have time to “enter into” it, draw on God’s grace. How do you do that? Jesus said, “Watch and pray.” The New Living Bible says, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you.” Sheep don’t have the strength or skill to overcome the wolf. But they have the strategy! They just draw close to the Shepherd and He deals with the wolf.

Soul food: Acts 18-19; Luke 9:37-45; Ps 42:6-11; Prov 16:17-19

Leuens: Satan se moedertaal

2020-07-15
Johannes 8:44 NLV

Jesus het van Satan gesê: ‘…Wanneer hy ook al leuens verkoop, praat hy volgens sy innerlike oortuiging omdat hy ‘n leuenaar en ook die vader daarvan is.’ Hy lieg op drie maniere vir ons: 1) Vertwyfelinge: Sy strategie is om jou te ontmoedig en jou te laat tou opgooi deur te sê: ‘Wat help dit? Niks het verander nie!’ Wanneer jy dit sê, teken jy die strokie en aanvaar die aflewering. Moenie dit doen nie! Die Bybel sê: ‘…Deur jou woorde en jou dade word jy gevang…’ (Spreuke 6:2 DB). Dit wat jy sê, vorm jou perspektief en skep die omgewing waarin jy lewe. Moet nooit iets sê wat Satan laat dink dat hy gewen het nie. 2) Skok. As jy nie Satan se aanval verwag nie, sal jy geskok wees en dink: ‘Ek maak seker nie vordering nie. Hoekom anders sal ek dan dieselfde gevegte oor en oor veg?’ Satan gee nie sommer tou op nie en sy aanval is bewys dat hy jou nog nie oorwin het nie. 3) Gevoelens. Satan sal jou probeer oortuig dat jy nie vergifnis verdien nie. Hy sal vir jou sê dat omdat jy nie voel dat jy vergewe is nie, is jy nie vergewe nie. Onthou egter, hy is ‘n leuenaar. Dis hier waar die oorwinning besluit word. Staan vas. Die werk is reeds in jou gedoen. God se Woord sê so; nou moet jy dit ook begin sê. Tyd sal jou posisie versterk. Sy strategie is om jou te laat voel dat niks verander het nie. Moenie dit glo nie! Jesus het gesê: ‘…As julle in ‘n noue verbintenis aan my boodskap leef, is julle my egte navolgers; en julle sal begryp wat die waarheid beteken, en die waarheid sal julle vrymaak’ (Johannes 8:31-32 NLV).

Sielskos: Joël 1-3; Luk 7:24-35; Ps 118:19-29; Spr 15:33

Lies: Satan’s native language


John 8:44 NIV

Jesus said of Satan, “When he lies, he speaks his native language.” And he lies to us in three ways: (1) Doubts. His strategy is to discourage you, to make you throw up your hands and say, “What’s the use? Nothing has changed!” When you say that, you’re signing the receipt and accepting the package. Don’t do it! The Bible says, “You are snared with the words of your lips” (Proverbs 6:2 AMPC). What you say forms your perspective and creates the environment you live in. Never say anything that leads Satan to think he’s winning. (2) Shock. If you’re not expecting Satan’s attack, you’ll get alarmed and think, “I must not be making progress. Why else would I still be fighting the same old battles?” Why? Because Satan doesn’t give up without a fight, and his attack is proof you haven’t been conquered. (3) Feelings. Satan will try to convince you that you don’t deserve to be forgiven. He’ll tell you that because you don’t feel forgiven, you’re not. But remember, he’s a liar. Here’s where victory is decided. Stand your ground. The work has already been done in you. God’s Word says so; now you must begin to say so too. Time will strengthen and solidify your position. Satan will bring to your mind all the things God has delivered you from, and in dealing with them you’ll experience some of the emotions you had when you went through them. His strategy is to make you feel like nothing has changed. Don’t buy it! Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32 NIV).

Soul food: Joel 1-3; Luke 7:24-35; Ps 118:19-29; Prov 15:33

The need for rest and renewal

2020-05-16
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

When you’re physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained, you become vulnerable. When Samson grew tired, he lay down in Delilah’s lap. Jesus called for 100 percent commitment, but He also knew the importance of staying in balance; of work and rest; of giving out and taking in. “Then Jesus said: ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone” (Mark 6:31-32 NLT). A good general will never commit all his soldiers to the battlefield at the same time. He keeps a reserve force to relieve the exhausted ones when they stagger back from the front lines. Yes, you may have the greatest assignment in the world and be succeeding in it, but unless you “keep a reserve,” you’re opening yourself up to potential danger. That’s why setting aside time each day to be alone with God in prayer and Bible reading is so important. If Satan can’t defeat you outright, he will settle for an exhausted, ineffective version of the person God wants you to be. If you’re a type A, high-energy person, you’re particularly at risk. What’s the answer? “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31 NKJV).

Soul food: Num 34-36; Mark 9:30-37; Ps 18:30-50; Prov 11:22

Satan wil jou keer (2)

2020-04-14
Sagaria 3:1 NLV

Soms is Satan se aanvalle voor die handliggend. In die Ou Testament, skryf die profeet Sagaria: ‘Die engel het Jesua die hoëpriester vir my gewys. Hy het voor die engel van die Here gestaan. Die Satan het regs van die engel gestaan, besig om Jesua van baie dinge aan te kla.’ Satan verkies gewoonlik om incognito te werk, dus sal hy jou deur middel van mense aanval – dikwels die mense naaste aan jou. Die Bybel sê vir ons: ‘Gedurende die aandete het die duiwel alreeds ‘n saadjie in die hart van Judas… geplant om Jesus uit te lewer’ (Johannes 13:2 NLV). Wat is dus jou beste lyn van verdediging? Die lewende Woord van God. Jesus het voor meer versoekings as wat enigeen van ons kan verduur, te staan gekom en drie keer die Satan afgeweer deur die Skrif vir hom aan te haal. Wanneer Satan jou gedagtes met versoeking, veroordeling, vertwyfeling en minderwaardige gevoelens aanval, is God se Woord ‘n skild wat hy nie kan deurdring nie. Let op wat gebeur het nadat Jesus die geveg met die Vyand gewen het: ‘Daarna het die duiwel die aftog geblaas. En daar het engele na Hom toe gekom en Hom versorg’ (Matteus 4:11 NLV). Jy is nie alleen nie. God het ‘n skare engele rondom jou geplaas om jou te versterk en jou te beskerm. ‘Die engele is tog maar net diensknegte. Hulle is geestelike wesens wat God uitstuur in belang van daardie mense wat gered gaan word’ (Hebreërs 1:14 NLV). Gedurende seisoene van teëspoed, moet jy onthou dat jy ‘n oorwinnaar en nie ‘n slagoffer is nie. Straal geloof uit. Verwag dat jou geloof bonatuurlik geëer sal word deur die God wat belowe het om in te tree wanneer jy Hom die nodigste het (sien Jesaja 59:19).

Sielskos: Lev 13:38-14:57; Mark 1:1-8; Ps 50:16-23; Spr 10:4-7