Psalm 52:2-7 “You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue! Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying, “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold.”
Pastor Kyle continues that (4) Ultimately, we reap what we sow. Payback is a hard pill to swallow. When we believe in God and His redemptive Plan of Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, our spirit is regenerated, we are given a new heart bent towards righteousness and our eternal consequences change. This side of Heaven, if you want good things in life along your walk, then sow good things in other people’s lives along the way.
James 1:13-18 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Next, Pastor Kyle gave us three suggestions how to effectively deal with temptation. (1) Find better and healthier distractions. What is your coping mechanism? Sometimes, sure willpower may not always work. Situational circumstances do affect us, so find something that builds your soul – spiritually, physically and emotionally. (2) When resisting is not working, run! This side of glory, stress is here and unavoidable. Kid yourself not, life in the jungle is no bowl full of cherries. Plans have patterns, so choose your battles and learn to bail sometimes. (3) Get some accountability. Hunter S. Thompson once stated that “He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master." We’re all accountable to God, but accountability by other experienced and godly individuals is essential to helping our vision, purpose and attaining goals. Somebody around us has already gone through what we are currently going through. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Treasure the experience and wisdom of your grandparents and parents, and those with more years behind them than there are miles in front of their cart and tap into their expertise. They have seen a lot of water go under the bridge of their life, so can honestly hear our concerns and help us not take the wrong path.
Psalm 24:1-6 “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.
A quick recap on delayed gratification is (1) We can get one marshmallows now, or two marshmallows later. (2) We have more to lose by giving in than we ever stand to gain. Remind yourself often of everything you have to lose. There is a brighter future and a better plan when we align our motives with God’s perfect motives for our life. This side of glory, we will never be satisfied and will keep coming up empty when we try to fill the bottomless Christ-shaped hole in our life with thoughts, words and actions that are based in selfish pride and ungodly ambition. Remember that we cannot have whatever we want, whenever we want. Some things are worth waiting for.
In Christ, Brian