Authority and Power over Temptation

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

One day at work many years ago, my boss crossed the line and really upset me. I felt I was being pressured beyond what I could endure. I was about to march into my boss’ office and spew out a series of un-Christlike words. Not that it is wrong to confront your boss when he is out of line, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, and I was tempted to do it the wrong way. I just could not take it anymore! I remembered the promise Paul gave.

 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

Instead of simply claiming the promise, I sent up a prayer to God and told Him He was not holding to His end of the agreement, because I was beyond what I felt I could stand and overcome. I remember in that moment I felt a peace come over me, and my desire to march into my boss’ office with a string of un-sanctified words was gone. God did hold to His agreement! Ever since then, every time I have been tempted, God has delivered me once I remembered and choseto claim this promise.

It is a misnomer that God will not give you more than you can handle. He will definitely give you more than you can handle, but He will never give you more than He can handle if you just let Him be the One to handle it.

One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.Luke 9:1 NLT

 

A semi truck comes barreling down the highway, but comes to a complete stop when the traffic officer puts up his hand. The truck has more power than the officer, but the officer has the authority. The state backs the officer’s authority, and the state with its military has more power than the semi truck. Likewise on our own we have no power to defeat the enemy. But authority over evil has been given to us, and all the power of heaven backs up our authority over evil. Just like the police officer has no power by himself to stop a semi truck, the state gives him the authority and the state has the power to enforce his authority over the semi truck. Likewise we have no power by ourselves to overcome temptation, but God gives us authority over evil and provides the power to overcome.

“He would sooner send every angel out of Heaven to protect his people, than leave one soul that trusts in him to be overcome by Satan.” –Great Controversy Page 560

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

1st and 2nd Corinthians; God Hugged me Today!

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].  1 Corinthians 10:31

I am continuing my journey through the New Testament, but my reading is way ahead of my blogging. I guess to get somewhat caught up, I can just summarize 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Paul talks about a lot of struggles. “Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” 2 Corinthians 11:25-27 After all this Paul still calls all his problems, “light affliction.”  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Sometimes, for the sake of the gospel we go through trials. Sometimes the enemies of the cross persecute us for preaching the gospel. Satan would want us to feel alone, like we are the only ones who have ever  “ endured such contradiction of sinners.” But we are not alone! Jesus also endured the same. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3.

Paul tells us plainly in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that the trials we go through are common to man. We are not alone. He also tells us, Jesus will bring us out of every one of those trials and temptations.

God has richly blessed me, but my life is not without trials. Last night, after a full day of Bible studies, and then church board meeting, I went out to Ballast Point Park, on Bayshore drive to talk with God. Life has been good. I told God just how good life has been. I told Him how much I appreciate all the wonderful things He has done and is doing in my life, and for those I love. As I sat on the pier, overlooking the city lights, I prayed for all the people of Tampa, that they would have the hope that is in Jesus. I then confided to God, that while all is going well, I still know there are those who oppose the cross of Christ and try to cause problems, and prohibit the gospel to reach the hearts of others.  I told God of people I want to reach with the gospel, but their so called friends are keeping them away. I also told God there are people who do not like what I do, and would like to see me stopped. I thanked God for supporting my ministry. I thanked Him for all the opportunities He has given me to share His love, and for the hundreds of people who loyally support my ministry with offerings, prayers, work effort, and encouragement. I promised God that I would keep spreading the gospel just as long as He continued to give me victory over the enemies of the cross.

This morning I walked into the Community Service Center at church, like I always do every Tuesday morning, where I meet with and encourage those who are down and out, and invite them to our church activities. Today, as soon as I came in the door, an elderly lady volunteer walked up to me. Without me saying a word, she gave me a big tight squeezed hug and told me to keep spreading the gospel and that God was not going to let anybody get in my way! I have never spoken a word to this lady about any of my trials or personal life, but she looked me right in the eye as though she knew everything, and told me she knew what I was up against, and that Satan was against me but that he would be overcome and that Jesus would be victorious. I stood amazed. Her words seemed to be in direct response to my prayer just hours before. I considered her words to be from God. Then I realized, if the words came from God, then so did the hug!   God hugged me today!

Matthew 14; Walking on Water

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When we read about Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14, we often think that is something He was able to do only because He was God. I remember looking at a greeting card a while back that read, “Some people say I think too much of you, just because I worship the water you walk on.” I have even joked about walking on water because years ago in Oklahoma, I walked across a frozen lake. All joking aside though, Jesus did not do anything that He did not also make possible for us to do as well. Jesus rose raised the dead but so did Peter in Acts 9. Jesus shares His victories over sin and evil with us, and lets us experience the same victories in our lives.

Notice in John 14:10 Jesus attributes His success to His relationship with the Father.  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

 

Notice in John 14:12 that when we enter into a relationship with Him and the Father that the same success is possible for us.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

 

In the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14, folks are quick to point out that Peter started to fall in the water when He took his eyes off Jesus, but they fail to point out that he was walking on water, just like Jesus was, so long as he kept His eyes on Jesus. Peter did walk on water! Before Jesus is recorded walking on water, earlier in chapter 14 we see Him spending quality time in prayer alone with the Father. I wonder, if Peter had spent that time in prayer, could he too have walked without falling into the water? Before we can begin to walk like Jesus we must first learn to pray like Jesus.

 

For a Desire of Ages study on how we can experience the same victories Jesus had click here.