Emotions Part 3 - (Common Temptations)
By Mike & Becky Rule

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1st Corinthians 10:13)

You are not alone nor are you abnormal because of your inner struggles. They are "common" in the sense of being shared by all mankind. We often assume this verse is speaking of what comes at us from the outside to entice us. But it is our inner yearnings and tendencies (i.e., temptations) that make us so susceptible to the outward. Sometimes we do not even recognize the inner hunger we have, making us an easy prey to the outward with its false promises to fulfill us and make us happy.

It is a great temptation for us to protect ourselves from hurt. Trying to keep our hearts safe is a common temptation. Everyone struggles with it to varying degrees. We work hard to avoid emotional pain because none of us likes to hurt or feel bad. However, it is exhausting to continually shuffle life’s details to avoid ever feeling bad. The more we work to avoid pain, the more intense our experience of that pain becomes. Whether I bump into my pain or work hard to avoid bumping into it, the pain still controls my life.

Understanding the source of the pain can be beneficial at times, but sometimes we over-analyze things, delving into details because the big picture is too much to handle and hits too close to home. Being a "good Christian" in the power of our own intellect, emotions, and will is only playing at Christianity. God lets us go there--and often keeps us there—but only until we become thoroughly weary of dissecting our walk and all that goes along with it.

Ultimately we get completely sick of ourselves and OUR walk. That is when our hearts cry out to God, "Enough! I JUST WANT JESUS!!!!! I DON'T CARE ABOUT ALL THE OTHER STUFF!! I’m sick of everything else!! JUST GIVE ME JESUS!!" We are ready to accept His challenge to come to Him. To simply come to Him. In the past we have gone to Him "for..." something. We have gone to Him for answers, with requests, with something to sort out. We have wanted details on this thing or that event, wanted understanding, peace, relief, wanted to know how to live, and we ESPECIALLY have wanted to be fixed and "better." If the truth be known, most of these things are to make us feel better about ourselves. We don't want God to be God for HIS glory. We want Him to be God for OUR glory--so that we can get our act together and get on with life, to feel better, look better, act better, be better. When God opens our eyes to this reality, we realize how shallow and sick we actually are. It is the revelation of our flesh’s depravity that is designed to leave us with a greater awe for God and His love, His acceptance, and His forgiveness.

Don’t allow the temptations to distract you. Go to Him…for Him.

Verses for Reflection

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." (James 1:12-18)

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20 & 21)


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