Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 11, 2017
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)
Nowadays it seems that people everywhere are talking about having Ninja skills—and that it’s a good thing. One day this crossed my mind, and just because I am a curious type, I decided to look up the definition of “ninja” online.
Here’s what I found:
“a person skilled in ninjutsu.”
Thank you, Merriam-Webster. You enlighten me.
When I dug a little deeper, I discovered that a Ninja warrior uses warfare and weaponry skills. This got me thinking that God’s kids have been given Ninja weapons by Him in the form of instructions in the Bible to battle temptation. Some of these instructions–or weapons against temptation–are listed in James 1:13-15.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.”
In this passage, God reminds us of one thing we should pay very close attention to so we don’t get sucked into sin: desire. (Desire is why we do what’s wrong. Satan just comes along and seduces us when our desire is ripe.) As I read this passage, I thought about the progression that occurs when we get sucked into sin because of intense desire. And, I made a list of this progression. I’d like to share it with you.
As you go about your week, I invite you to think about this list. I also invite you to consider a time when you got sucked into sin and evaluate it against the list. Also, think about people you know who have gotten sucked into sin and evaluate their behavior against the list.
Why am I asking you to think about such awful stuff? Because it will help give you Ninja skills against the enemy the next time you’re tempted. Being aware of your Adversary’s tricks is a powerful thing.
When we give into temptation here’s what can happen:
1) We are overtaken by strong emotion that comes from desire.
2) We are confused.
3) We downplay the consequence of our sin.
4) We justify our behavior.
5) We may blame others for our choice.
6) We may even say that our sin is God’s will and that it’s not sin at all. (For example, We are happier, and doesn’t God want us to be happy, for heaven’s sake?)
Then, if we become fully rebellious, we may even turn against God.
But there is good news! God gives us a way out.
“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 tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Having some good friends or a community to hold you accountable doesn’t hurt either.
Oh, one more thing… .if you start thinking about a time when you fell into sin and the enemy starts beating you up, telling you that you are worthless, tell him to get lost because there isn’t any condemnation for you in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Then, whip out your Ninja weapons in 1 John 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
PrayerLord, thank you that I can resist temptation. Help me not to be deceived by ungodly desires. Amen.
ApplicationReflect on situations in your own life or in the lives of others and how today’s devotional applies as an exercise to help you resist temptation.
Related ReadingGalatians 5:16; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Hebrews 2:18
Post/Tweet todayYou can resist temptation. #WisdomHunters #BattleTemptation
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