Inviting God into Your Temptation

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When I think of God and temptation, they seem like polar opposites. After all, James 1:13 clearly tells us that God cannot be tempted and He doesn’t tempt anyone else.

And that’s probably exactly how the enemy wants us to think- that God and temptation should stay in opposite corners, never venturing near one another.

But that isn’t what Jesus said.

In Gethsemane he instructed his disciples to watch and pray specifically not to fall into temptation.

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

Earlier in His ministry, his disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. In His prayer He included this plea:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  Matthew 6:13 (NIV)

To be honest, very few of my prayers have ever been about temptation. I pray for the lost, for me, for the poor, for me, for my family, for me, for the government, for me- you get the picture- but I’ve probably prayed less than a handful of times about avoiding temptation and not succumbing to it.

And do you know why?

Because I’ve always believed that God and temptation don’t mix. You’re either in one camp or the other.

Jesus clearly demonstrates that we are to pray about temptation before it arrives. And since we never know when it’s going to show its ugly face, we should be prayed up in this area all the time rather than avoiding the mere mention of the word.

Still, temptation will come. It came to Eve in paradise; it will certainly come to us in a fallen world.

Even in the middle of temptation, God wants to be right there in the thick of it with us. He even provides a way out!

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. I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

And what happens if we don’t reach for God’s help and we give in to temptation? Even then He is with us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 (NIV)

God wants to help us in every part of life, even when we are tempted. Maybe especially when we are tempted.

Writing Prompt: Think of a time you were greatly tempted. How did you respond? How might you have handled it differently?

 

Image in public domain via Pixabay

 

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7 Things That Stifle Creativity

7 things that stifle creativity

 

1. Sin

Willful sinning and the guilt that accompanies it will separate you from your Creator, thus keeping you from the source of your creativity. Confess. Receive forgiveness. Go and sin no more.

2. Worry

Worry is a choker. When the mind is filled with tension and care, there is no room for creative thoughts and certainly no energy to act on them. Pray and turn it all over to God.

3. Fatigue

I actually find that I tend to more creative when I’m a little tired, but when all out exhaustion hits, I lose all creative ability. Tired bodies with tired minds simply don’t think well. If you’re tired, rest. You’ll be much more effective after a nap or a night of good sleep.

4. Busyness

Who has room for creative expression when you can’t find a moment to breathe? Leave some white space in your life.

5. Too many choices

Choice can be a good thing, but too many choices can be completely overwhelming. Simplicity and focus are the anecdote to this one.

6. Comparison

Rather than spur you on, comparison can actually shut you down. Being yourself and not trying to be someone else is a creativity booster.

7. A boring life

Did you know that having all the time in the world can suffocate creativity? I’ve found that creativity flourishes best in a fully-lived life populated with people.

Writing Prompt: What zaps your creativity? Really think about what personally affects you most rather than offering a generic answer. Keep writing until you hit upon some solutions to the thing that is most likely to stifle your creativity.

 

Splatter paint image background by chaseiv57 on Flickr cc

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