spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Reaching the Goal

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Philippians 3: 13-15. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

 

I had finally achieved my goal weight.

I rewarded myself with a decadent hot fudge sundae.

Just kidding.

I took all of my bigger-sized clothes out of the closet, bagged them up, and put them on a shelf in the garage—just in case I ever back-slid…

Have you ever done that—failed to put the past completely behind you—and focus, instead, on what is ahead?

I know someone who gave up pornography, boxed up his magazines and put them in the tool shed.

See, he hadn’t completely given up the thought of them. They were still in the back of his house, enticing him. His focus was off. His resolve to lead a new, clean lifestyle was hampered by the temptation of the sinful behavior he had once practiced.

I kept the larger clothes at my fingertips. It made it easier for me to consider giving in to cheesecake and brownies, knowing I could always pull out my larger jeans.

The Bible verse in Philippians is one of my favorites. In it, Paul encourages us to keep our eyes on the prize and not look back.

Whether you are struggling to control a sinful behavior or simply wanting a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God, follow Paul’s example.

Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t look back.

Don’t keep things that tempt you within reach or consider them in your thinking.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will keep you strong.

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The Healing

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Luke 4:5-7   “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

 

I read a horrific story about a young man who was desperate to save his dying child. He had spent all of his money, borrowed from his mortgage, and sold all of his belongings in order to pay for the boy’s medical treatments.

Now, at the end of his resources and without another hope, he had an idea. He would bargain with Satan. He would offer to give his own soul to the devil if only his son’s life would be spared.

One day, he told his plan to an older man in the hospital waiting room. That man was able to share the scripture from Luke with the distraught father. He told him that in Jesus there is life. That all things were given to Him by God. That all authority is His, to the glory of the Father.

He convinced the young man that although Satan often tempted people with money, position, or power, the very idea that Satan had any authority to give these things was all lies. The older man persuaded the young father to put the life of his boy in the hands of the great healer—the author of life.

Just as Jesus wasn’t fooled by Satan’s offer of power and authority as they stood atop a mountain in Jerusalem, neither was the young father in this story.

Sadly, the little boy in this story did die. However, the young father’s faith was not shaken because he understood that his child was now with Jesus and that he would see him again one day.

He realized that it was he, himself, that had experienced healing—the healing of his own soul.

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When Temptation Strikes

Matthew 26:41– “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

At one time, my husband and I lived in a house behind a grocery store. Our back fence separated our property from the store’s parking lot. Midmorning, every single day of the year except Christmas and New Year’s, unbelievably good smells from the store’s bakery and deli would waft right into our house!

Needless to say, we were constantly tempted to hop the fence and buy freshly baked bread or tasty rotisserie chicken. When the store did a special promotion, bringing their grills outside to cook hot dogs or brats, it was almost too much to bear!

I recall in the midst of dieting, we would resolve to not go grocery shopping without the other so that we could keep from buying foods from our “forbidden” list.  We also tried to spend time away from home, involved in activities where we might not be tempted to break ranks and give in to our churning stomachs.

Although food is a temptation for lots of us, there are also many things in this life that could potentially lure us into behaviors that are not good for us, such as spending too much time on the computer, gambling or gossiping over the back fence, to name a few.

We have good intentions. We mean to change, but these things seem to have such power over human beings.

Why? Because as the verse above tells us, our flesh is weak. It also tells us what to do about it: WATCH. Be aware of those things that tempt us and those times when we are most vulnerable. Then, try to keep ourselves out of those situations.

But that’s not enough. The most powerful thing we can do is PRAY. Seek God’s guidance and tap into His power of resistance against those things that tempt us. Ask Him to replace that temptation with a desire for something better. And He will because He is faithful, because He keeps His word, because He doesn’t want to see us succumb to temptation.

He want us to be free of those things that bind us. Free to live a victorious life— in Him!

Brenda

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