By Steve Troxel
Our Christian walk of growing closer to God and becoming more like His Son involves a process of "renewing our mind" (Romans 12:2). Our mind is renewed as we begin to consider things of eternal value rather than the fading things of the world. But no matter how far we mature in our walk, distractions attempt to consume our thoughts and distance us from God.
Distractions always come in some form of temptation. There is a wide range of self indulging, flesh-filled desires and power hungry ambitions which tempt us at every turn, but there are also the more deceptive temptations like laziness, worry, pride, and overfilled schedules. Each of these are common tools of the enemy used to separate us from an intimate relationship with God. But God is not surprised by temptation. He understands and has provided a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it."
In our fight against temptation, we must first understand that being tempted does not mean we have been singled out. Temptations are not an issue of Salvation, and they do not diminish God's love - our temptations are "common to man." Though we don't seem very good at talking about our struggles, we ALL face forms of temptation. We are a Family and have much more in common than we realize.
Since we know we will face temptation as part of our daily battle, let's start our day by getting prepared. No soldier enters war without the proper equipment. Neither should we enter a clearly hostile environment without making sure to get properly dressed; "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground" (Ephesians 6:13).
The middle of a tempting situation is not the time to make decisions on how to react. Temptation decisions must be solidified in our heart long before the enemy attempts to pull us off God's path. Conquering temptation is only possible by growing deep roots of commitment and Godly character through daily studying His Word, praying for strength, and trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide our steps - by putting on the "FULL armor of God."
Our Heavenly Father has given us the tools, and He desires for us to live a victorious life. The attacks are going to come (and they will keep coming!) but our way out is to be prepared. If we will begin each day by getting fully dressed for battle, we WILL bear the temptation - we WILL stand our ground.
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