Facing Temptation | A Moment of Weakness

Monday, April 8, 2019
I want to share with you guys what I learned after I had recent trial concerning facing temptation and a moment of weakness. I never imagined that I would be sharing my faith this much on a blog. It just sort of happened. I envisioned having a lifestyle blog showcasing green beauty products, makeup looks, throwing in some motherhood topics, and maybe a little talk about my faith here and there.


Christian Expectations

The reason I say this is because I always felt uneasy about sharing my faith because of the expectations people would have of me and the pressure I would feel to be "perfect." In addition to that I have made A LOT of mistakes on my journey. I'm not even putting that lightly. There are so many times that I've been reading the Bible and I'm literally cringing because I know that that rebuke was for me. Even so, we have to be open to those convictions. Furthermore, as I've recently discovered, there comes a time where we can't mostly depend on pastors and teachers of the Word. We have to study and compare those teachings to the Bible closely. We also have to stop following our hearts because as it says in Jeremiah 17:9,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desparately sick; who can understand it?
In my last post, I shared some of the struggles that I had when I first began following Jesus and you may have read that I would often feel like I had to compromise the truth in order to avoid conflict with people around me. It was hard trying to separate the worldy views from the biblical principles I was beginning to learn. Yet, there are certain ideas that are ingrained in us through popular culture from childhood, especially in the case of fairy tales. Disney movies are notorious for ingraining worldly ideas. For instance, we may think that justice is served when an evil villain or the
enemy dies at the end of the movie. It brings us satisfaction to see people we don't like or who have mistreated us fall. Likewise, in Robin Hood, we think it is a good thing to steal from the rich to give to the poor or compromise our integrity to get some desired end result. We see that the "good guys" may often compromise their integrity often and still receive the benefit of a desired result. I don't even want to think about what The Little Mermaid is teaching us. Still, ideas like these make it difficult to reconcile biblical principles like loving or praying for your enemies or being still and allowing God to bring justice to those who wrong us.

Human Nature Instinctively Bad

I used to be a firm believer that people are born good and that there had to be serious abuse or circumstances that would cause a person to do bad things. Now, I see that as a naive theory. As a mother, I get to witness the stages of growth in my son. In the toddler/preschool stage, I see the natural instinctive character traits of selfishness, disobedience, covetousness, etc. No one taught him that. It's just human nature.  

I'm human too, so one of my struggles is that I'm naturally a very sensitive and emotional type of person. I can get lost in my feelings real quick. I can also entertain certain ideas and deviate to the gray side of an argument based on my feelings or the feelings of another person. I sometimes like to give people the benefit of the doubt or hope for the best until something clearly wrong manifests itself or the Holy Spirit puts me in check. All of these traits can very easily hinder your walk with God because Matthew 26:41 tells us we must, 
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Seeds of Deception  

That verse really speaks to me right now because I've recently been seriously tempted by a situation that was beyond any temptation that I've ever experienced. I have not shared this, but I have been going through a very dry season where all the doors have been shut. I've been struggling to secure a permanent position along with many other challenges in my my relationships and my personal life. This season has felt endless and God has been revealing things and showing me a lot of my character flaws and flawed ways of thinking. Even so, I've been prayerful to stay the course. Still, it's been hard seeing other people receive their answers, prayers, and even miracles, when I have had moments
where I don't "feel" like God is as close as He used to be.

It probably didn't help that I was following some "prophets" and pastors that were basically teaching that sowing seeds or giving money is what would manifest breakthroughs. I kept seeing prophetic words about financial breakthroughs, amongst other things. I was sowing and believing and nothing
was happening with the main few people that I was following. I was frustrated and began praying for God to show me what I was missing and to give me understanding. At the same time, I was praying for God to show me if there was anyone I followed who was not of Him. Granted, I was spending way too much time listening to others’ revelations and teachings because that was easier while taking care of a toddler all day. I wasn’t seeking Him enough for myself. I felt like my faith journey had taken a wrong turn. At the end of last year, I only wanted a closer relationship with God, but somehow I had gotten off track. After that revelation, I decided to get serious about making time with God.

Then Enters Tempation

Then I was tempted with this out of the blue situation that was a serious ethical dilemma to say the least. I was wary of it at first and began praying about it. The details regarding the idea seemed so intentional and I began wondering if this was finally my breakthrough. Some aspects seemed “harmless” and even fair along with some justifications and emotional tugs laid out, but it was unethical enough to realize that God wouldn’t bring a “blessing” that was sneaky if I sat still enough and truly reflected. On the contrary, I started running away with my feelings and convincing myself that it was time. It was like one of those movies I was referring to earlier that would involve a compromise in integrity to achieve an end result. Even still, the most disappointing thing for me was that I had convinced myself that it was a good thing, so I was taking steps off of the straight and narrow, right onto the crooked path. The scenario didn’t seem like it was hurting anyone directly and some good could have come out of it (or so it seemed hypothetically), but the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 11:14, tells us that,
Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
So, yes, I shamefully admit that I was taking steps and ready to fully act on the temptation. However, I woke up a particular morning feeling anxious and listened to a podcast by a prophet I’ve recently began listening to, followed by watching a video from a pastor on YouTube that afternoon. My son was down for his nap at the time. Therefore, I had plenty of quiet time and the Holy Spirit hit me with the truth and the gravity of the situation. Afterwards, I was a mess. I was shocked and very ashamed and repentant. I was so mad and disappointed in myself. When I was looking back, I couldn't even understand how I thought that it was a good thing and what in the world my mindset was prior to that revelation.

Tools

I learned from the podcast I mentioned above that if we are ever walking in confusion about something it's because we probably aren't as dedicated as we should be to studying the word of God. I will admit that that is something I struggled with. It felt overwhelming dealing with the trials and everyday responsibilities and by the end of the night, I sought distractions to avoid thinking or dealing with my emotional state. Regardless, reading the Bible should be a priority for every Christian. Hebrews 4:12 even tell us that,
The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
So, we must indeed be prayerful and watchful because we know that temptations are well...tempting and the the thief (Satan) only comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). I also want to encourage you to read Psalms 1:1-3 that basically states that blessed is the man who delights himself in the law of the Lord, and mediates on it day and night and distances himself from certain types of people.

Encouragement

I share this with an open heart to encourage anyone struggling that I'm one Christian that does not get it right all the time. I'm feeling raw and foolish as I write this, but the truth is we all need the Savior, Jesus Christ and sometimes we need to be humbled into realizing that we aren't superheroes who can depend on our own strength for this walk. We also have to realize that His timing and His ways are always going to be perfect. There are revelations and growth that occur in the waiting and trusting. We also may need to be shown that the condition of our heart needs work and wasn't as pure as we thought. At the end of the day, I was faced with the question, “Do I really believe that God is able to bring me the blessing or was I so hopeless that I was desperate enough to settle for any situation that would bring a desired end result”? Why didn’t I believe that I could receive God’s best without any unethical strings attached. It was definitely a heart check for me. If you took away anything from this post, I hope it was the revelation that we all need to spend time really studying the word of God, keeping it in our hearts, and applying it to our lives.

God bless you.



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