I recently scored this wonderful nugget of unearthly treasure from the Lord – a message about overcoming temptation… don’t be a hypocrite!!!
This pure gold of a message was harvested from the first chapter of the book of James in the New Testament:
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
1.) How to expect Temptations: Walking in life, we expect temptations and find them as detours that lead away from the path of truth, but we need to keep walking on through the path where not too many has trodden and may be a really hard path to follow. Know though that when we pass through overcoming the temptations, we learn patience as a bonus. But before you scoot off to say this is another typical lesson, wait, patience when perfected in us makes us content and our desires are then aligned with those of the Spirit of God, the secret to avoiding falling.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
2.) How to deal with the humps: Now while being tempted, we may come to a point when we become unsure on how to handle the situation, we have trouble deciding whether to wait or move forward.
a.) Ask the Lord for wisdom, stand by it: The word tells us to ask for guidance, for wisdom, because the Lord gives freely, we must stand firm and believe that He gives it to us as we wait, we need to discern and not rush. God will see us through..those who change their mind and decide on their own will fail as God will not honor their decision, He’s not giving anything to them, check Saul’s story early in his career.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
b.) Be Single Minded – Let God’s Spirit run your life in every case: Have a single mind the Bible says and do not let the spirit of the flesh run together with the Spirit of God in you, for God is the owner of you and must rule supreme no matter how boring, how tiring or how painful it may seem as we live in Him (at times, by the world’s standards it can be all of those things and worse). Be stable like Kent Hovind’s example of how to fire the rubber band long distance.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
c.) Remember, it will all pass, be happy with what you have, you don’t need more stuff: We’re told to rejoice when were low and be humble when were high, noting that being rich or alive is not forever for all are appointed one day to die. See the example of the flower passing away, all the beauty will fade when the sun rises up with the burning heat.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
3.) Remember the Prize: Now going back to temptations- here is the promise, endure and receive the crown of life, The Lord promised this to those who love Him.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
4.) Remember the Lord who loves you and got your back: Don’t blame God when you are being tried, if you fail, that’s you running a fleshly mind and running without God in the forefront. Your flesh gets enticed and seduced through lust and this becomes sin and brings death. These temptations are merely Satan’s use of the worldly things around us. All these things that God made for us. He values us so much from the beginning, He wanted us to be perfect without forcing us. He didn’t make us like robots. He created these for us and wants us to have them but the devil uses them to make us take the detour, to get us out of the straight path and have us to sit down, drink a little, eat a little, a little comfort, a little slumber…do not make this mistake and instead be discerning.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
5.) Watch yourself: He warns us to be vigilant, swift to hear but slow to speak and anger.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Note below – He specifically dwells at ‘wrath’ and singles it out that it worketh not the righteousness of God, to say that it doesn’t get you closer to the Lord when you’re angry. He mentions this before he tells of fixing filthiness and naughtiness. We need to be meek and receive the engrafted word that saves our souls. we need to have the love for the truth…
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
In summary, we’re told of the basic things to watch inorder to overcome being tempted: we need to be quick to hear His calling, control our speech, be slow to anger, repent and turn away from the fleshly works of sin, then receive the word and trust everything it says. This last verse to me is saying, be saved first! (click how).
Having said that, finally, the secret to overcoming temptation: Do What the Word Says and Not Only Hear It for we deceive ourselves thinking we know what God wants but we actually forget it and do the opposite thing, running our lives ‘flesh’-style, its like being dressed up for a wedding we look at ourselves in the mirror then later forget our respectable appearance as we behave disgracefully in front of the other guests. This causes others to stumble because we’re being hypocrites. I thought of another crude example – We look like coat-wearing baptists but act like construction workers taking a break, not a neat holy sight to watch (no offense to the clean living construction folks out there).
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
We need to do the work of God in faith because without it, we wont last in this wicked world as our flesh will always be against us. Let’s not forget what manner of person we are to be and should be, we will be blessed in this.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Confirmation of the mirror message: God defines pure religion, understandably – the true Christianity,which is our great commission, our focus that makes us look ahead and walk boldly forward doing God’s work instead of being distracted by the detours (temptations). This completes our claim of being true Christians:
- bridle your tongue,
- visit the lost and fatherless (literally as well as those who don’t know God as Father) and share the gospel of Jesus Christ’ salvation to them; as well as the widows (literally those who dont have a husband or a Saviour protecting them and comforting them in their afflictions), helpless for they need the true Savior Jesus Christ;
- lastly, if you consider yourself a child, kid or babe in the word to share the gospel at this time (which really is mostly an excuse anyway as anyone who loves his/her neighbor do share the gospel indeed as God puts it in their hearts, but just in case you don’t feel that encouraged to do so), this is for you – keep yourself from being spotted from the world. Do not love the world and be entangled therein, unequally yoked with unbelievers… Keep yourself from idols the word says!
Apart from this, your so called religion is all in vain.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
The whole set of messages above ties up very tightly with the message of the essential parable.
Note that to know what God wants us to do, we need to read His true Word and do what it says, receiving it and understanding it and doing it. Bear fruit with it.