4 Ways to Break Temptation-Chain

Picture Credit: http://austriantimes.at

A young 27 year old Chinese man, was chained to a cow shed in Hunan, southern China, and tormented for over 7 years – since 2005, nearly lost his hands because his chains actually grew in to his flesh. He had tried to remove his chains, but they were on too tight. He tried to escape, but was unable to free himself from his chains.

It makes me think of just how many of us have tried to overcome some habit, problem, or sin, but to no avail. After a while you just learn to live with your chains — they just become a part of you.

In  the Bible it says,   “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”   Galatians 5:7
“Who” can also be interpreted: “What”. Sometimes we get hindered by a “who”, and sometimes by a “what.” So what can we do?  I want to share 4 ways to break these types of habits.
1.  KNOW THAT… “A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENS THE WHOLE LUMP.”  Galatians 5:9

Or you could say it this way, “All it takes is a little sin – then it begins to take over your entire life!”   If you give your flesh an inch, he’s going to take a mile.  It’s like, if you give the devil your password to one of your social networks, he’s not just going to look through all your photos and click “like”.  He’s going to upload some detestable pictures, sick videos, and he’s going to post all kinds of crazy updates. And do you know who’s going to get blamed for it? YOU!!

2.  DON’T LET MR. TEMPTATION INTO YOUR HOUSE.

When he comes knocking on your door, wanting to sell you some juicing morsels, you simply can’t invite him into your house! You have to learn to be firm, and say, “No thank you. I’m fine. I don’t want any, goodbye.”  But some of us not only allow Mr. Temptation to knock on our door, but we say in effect, “Sure, come on in, and would you like a cup of coffee too?”  We deceive ourselves, and welcome the chains to become a part of our lives, by thinking, “Well… I’m not really going to buy anything. I’ll just take a little look and see what he’s got. I’m strong, and after all I need to be informed about these things, so that others won’t fall into these types of problems.”  Look out — the chains are beginning to squeeze tighter.

3.  DON’T LET THE DEVIL TALK YOU INTO SINNING.

“Come on Jesus, why don’t you turn these stones into bread?”  The devil’s words are smoother than butter, and inadvertently we let whisper his ‘sweet nothings’ into our ready ear.  “You’ve been such a good boy. You’ve been working so hard lately. You deserve a break.   Why don’t you go ahead and take a little bite of some of my scrumptious delicacies? After all… I think we all know that Jesus understands.

And like our Chinese friend, who’s chains were so tight they grew into his flesh — we to are sucked-in to our new tormenting habit, and just can’t seem to escape. Most Christians I know hear the voice of the devil speaking to them more than God’s. That ought not to be. You need to tell yourself right now, “I’m closing my ears to that nonsense from now on!”

“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.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 

And that last way you can break Temptation-Chain is…
4.  KNOW IN ADVANCE THAT IT’S GONNA COST YOU.

Call me “Old Fashioned” if you want to, but the Word of God can save you a whole lot of heartache.  Proverbs 1:7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Just think of it. If you “bit into” the proverbial “apple” — it’s gonna COST You. Someone might say: “Ah come on, cost me what?”

….It’s going to cost you your Robe of Righteousness. In exchange? ☞ “a Spirit of Heaviness”
….It’s going to cost you your Your Clean heart. In exchange? ☞ “a Heart of Pain & Depression”
….It’s going to cost you Your Character & Integrity. In exchange? ☞  Perhaps a destroyed Marriage & Family.

HERE’S THE BOTTOM-LINE
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” Galatians 5:16.  May you embrace your walk with Christ once again, and with His power — BREAK that TEMPTATION-CHAIN off from you, once and for all, today!

Advertisements

Freebird

If you grew up in the 70’s, (or if you watched Forrest Gump), you know the song, “Freebird”, by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Part of the song says,

“I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change, Lord knows I cannot change.”

Many times we try to escape our problems by simply running away from them. “Lord knows I can’t change.” Actually… He does. In fact, He can set a person free in a different way that’s not necessarily by your own doing.

“…let the living bird loose in the open field .” [Lev. 14:2]

It’s amazing that God revealed in the Old Testament what to do when an incurable disease was healed, (Lev. 14:2). To God, doing the impossible, is just everyday, ordinary stuff that He does. Even when we were still partying it up, and sinning like there was no tomorrow, Jesus had already made provision for our Salvation (Rom. 5:8). The very fact that He included this in His Word ought to cause everyone to know that whatever mountain of difficulty is before us, whatever sickness or disease – God is able to make provision to heal, and set us free!

Digging a little deeper in Leviticus 14, what do each of these things mean? The priest was to take two birds (remember this, it’s important for later), a piece of cedar wood, a piece of scarlet material, and some hyssop. Then he was to put one of these in an earthen vessel, and then kill it over running water. Then he would take the living bird, and the other things, and dip them all in the bird’s blood, (…I know this sounds heavy, but hold on it’s gets easier to understand, I promise). The the blood would then be sprinkled on the leper seven times; and then the living bird would be set free in an open field.

Bird Killed in an Earthen Vessel: This represents Christ, leaving Heaven, inhabiting a human body, then dying for our sins. (2 Cor. 4:7)
Bird Killed over Running Water: This represents how Jesus acted in obedience to the Word of God in actually going to the Cross. It also represents the Holy Spirit, who alone empowers us to lay down our lives like Jesus did. (Zech. 4:6)
The Cedar Wood: This represents the Cross of Christ. (John 19:17)
The Scarlet: This represents the Blood of Christ, and the deliverance that it brings. (Josh. 2:18)
The Hyssop: This represents the passing-over of our sins by the Blood of the Lamb. (Ex. 12:22)
The Living Bird Loosed in the Open Field: This represents 1) the Resurrection of Christ, but also 2) it’s symbolic of us being set free by the death of another – namely Christ. (Rom. 8:2)

Can’t you just see that living bird, covered with blood and water, flapping vigorously, thinking: “Whoa? I almost DIED!! I can’t believe I’m flying away now! ‘O thank You, Jesus!” If you’re thinking, “Lord knows I can’t change” then maybe you need to know that Jesus was was that other “bird” that was killed, instead of you and I. Think of it! The Lord knew you couldn’t change on your own, that’s why He left Heaven 2000 years ago to become a human – just like you and me, to take our place.

‘O that you would soar in life, because of what Christ did on the Cross for you. Then you can truly sing, “…and I’m as free as a bird now…”

My Smog & God’s Cloud

Burning Sugarcane in Maui

This morning as I was driving down the mountain I saw a familiar scene, but something was different. Fields of sugarcane were being burned; and the heat of the smoke was actually pushing away the beautiful white clouds that were being formed around the west Maui mountains. Brown, smog-like haze was beginning to overtake the white clouds. And I thought to myself, “I wonder how many times God has wanted to come down and hover over my life with His presence, but I have such a carnal smoke cloud burning that it pushes Him back.” But I came across a scripture that gives the believer courage in times of struggle.

“Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go.” [Neh. 9:19]

Here, God’s Word is saying that even when the children of Israel were creating the “smog of self-centeredness”, (#1.) They weren’t forsaken by God. And (#2.) The cloud did not depart from them! Just when you think you’re at your worst, and that God is “holding His nose” to your “fires of sin”, He stays with you, showing you mercy, and gives you a real hope that you’re still His, and that He’s not going to leave.

No matter where you’re at today – you may feel like a failure, or that you’ve worn-out your welcome at the altar of God by your multitude of transgressions, but God Word is true! You cannot chase Him away from you. Your “smog” is no match for His “cloud”. He saved you, He changed you, He’s got a vested interest in holding on to you! Think about it, He’s invested too much in you to, somehow, let you go now. No! He’s drawing near to you, and causing His presence to blow away all the carnal pollution that you’ve been spreading in your life. He’s letting you know that, the change you’re seeking is right around the corner, and that you’re new beginning can start today!

Whatcha Doin’ with Your BFF?

Most people don’t really know the language of young people, but… a Best Friend is worth their weight in Gold. The link below will take you to a quick 15 minute MP3 on iTunes. If you have a BFF then take a quick listen and see if your relationship will improve as you head into 2009.
Whatcha Doin with your BFF?

Successful Daniel Fast

21 days of “non-pleasant food”, and seeking God were what the Doctor ordered for me, my leaders, and the UNITED YOUTH in Chicago. So proud of them all.

UNITED YOUTH CHICAGO

Devil’s Food!

I don’t know much about Angle’s Food, or Devil’s Food, but as a Christian I sure do know what it’s like for the Devil to stop on by and want to take a bite out you for Lunch!

Well, it’s Day 14 of our Daniel Fast.
I don’t know about you, but it hasn’t been a “piece of cake” for me. There’s been alot of garbage that’s been boiling up to the surface of my spirit. And it didn’t stop there! Unfortunately it has erupted on others also. “Congratulations Robb, welcome to the human race!”

At times on this Fast I have forgotten what we are actually doing. It’s not just changing what we ate, but it’s about entering, [and engaging in], a massive Spiritual War! Demonic spirits that used to fluff your pillow for you as you allowed your Bible to collect dust on your night stand are now screaming at you, “STOP PRAYING AND FASTING!!”

With only 7 days left remember to give yourself grace. When your flesh tries to rise up, remind yourself that invisable forces are coming at you, and that it’s not just “you” having a “bad day”. The half-brother of our Lord has a few things that have been helping me:

1. SUBMIT TO GOD… [“Jesus, in all this, I confess that You are Lord. I’m not going to let my flesh dominate. You are with me even when I don’t feel it. You are ruling and reining right now in my life.”]

2. RESIST THE DEVIL… [Sometimes this isn’t so much as addressing the Enemy directly as it is “resisting” him. Thru your spirit, and your emotions, you resist the temptation to eat, to react in the flesh.]

3. AND HE WILL FLEE… [You aren’t “prgrammed” to fail! Your New Man on the inside of you is actually “programmed” to WIN!! If you haven’t seen the enemy flee in a while, NOW IS THE TIME!! Submit, Resist, and Demons Flee!!!]

Be Strong! Finish Strong! Fasting Together With You!!

Pastor Robb